The UCF athletic program has announced the hiring of Gus Malzahn as their new college football head coach. The hiring comes after former head coach Josh Heupel accepted the head coaching position at Tennessee on January 27th. The 11.5 million dollar contract will have Malzahn signed through the 2025-2026 NCAA season.
The former Auburn head coach was a high-school coaching legend in the state of Arkansas. Malzahn got his first start as a head coach at the age of 27 in 1992, after wrapping up a career as a college wide-receiver. After winning 4 state titles, Malzahn became the offensive coordinator at Arkansas. After stints at Arkansas, Tulsa, and Arkansas State, Malzahn became the head coach at Auburn in 2013. Malzahn inherited an Auburn team that was 0-8 in SEC conference play prior to his arrival. The Texas native responded by leading his team to the BCS National Championship in his first year as head coach. Malzahn’s immediate success earned him accolades like SEC Coach of the Year and Sporting News Coach of the Year.
In his time at Auburn, the program never suffered a losing season under his watch. He led the Tigers to 2 SEC championship games in his 8 seasons, winning one. The Tigers played in 8 bowl games, tallying wins in the Music City Bowl and the Birmingham Bowl. Malzahn’s 3-4 record against legend Nick Saban has earned him a great deal of respect in the college football landscape.
After parting ways with Auburn this past December, Malzahn planned to step away from coaching temporarily. Malzahn’s decision to take the job was influenced by the rare opportunity to be the teams offensive play caller. Malzahn will be able to showcase his high tempo no-huddle offense that has been a staple in the college football landscape for quite some time.