Auburn hires Chad Morris mentor Gus Malzahn

Chad Morris

Photo by Mark Crammer

Chad Morris

— If you were worried about Chad Morris’ spin on this winter’s coaching carousel, Tuesday was a good day for you.

One of Morris’ potential landing spots hired one of his coaching mentors, while another possible destination in the game of coaching dominoes locked up its current head coach.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Auburn announced that it had hired Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn as its new head coach. Auburn Undercover, a 247 Sports site covering Auburn, reported Monday that Morris had interviewed for the position.

Malzahn was Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 2009-11, and helped AU to a national title running the hurry-up, no-huddle offense helmed by No.1 overall NFL draft pick Cam Newton.

He left for Arkansas State – and a $500,000 annual pay cut from $1.35 million to $850,000 – only to return after AU slipped to a 3-9 season, sealing coach Gene Chizik’s fate.

In a statement, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said Malzahn was Auburn’s “unanimous choice.”

Morris also reportedly interviewed for N.C. State’s vacancy, which was filled by Northern Illinois’ Dave Doeren.

In addition, Baylor coach Art Briles – who was a candidate for Arkansas’ opening – agreed to a new long-term extension to stay at Baylor. With deep Texas roots, Morris would have been a candidate at Baylor had Briles left. Arkansas stunned many by hiring Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as its new leader.

Morris is finishing the first season of a six-year, $7.8 million deal that pays him $1.3 million annually as the nation’s highest-paid assistant. He has no buyout to leave for a head coaching position, but his buyout to leave for another offensive coordinator job from 2012-14 would equal the amount of his annual total compensation multiplied by the years left on his contract – approximately $6.5 million this winter.

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Comments » 8

brookesdad729 writes:

Okay man that wasn't cool! The first thing you read is "Auburn Hires Chad Morris" and my heart dropped and then "psyched you out didn't we?" Whew! I believe we need to have Morris for 1 to 2 more years to effectively get his system into place, although I have to admit, I like old school smash mouth power football like the SEC plays and good solid defense! But if it wins us games then I guess its ok for now! Go Tigers!

t1gers writes:

dude, i know right?! I did the exact same thing. Creative though lol, now let's just have an exhaustive laugh

Bleedsorange writes:

Morris will not leave until we finish top 5. So stop freaking out.well or he gets fired, no jinx intended but we do head hunt from time to time.

brookesdad729 writes:

in response to Bleedsorange:

Morris will not leave until we finish top 5. So stop freaking out.well or he gets fired, no jinx intended but we do head hunt from time to time.

Well that had better be next year or the year after and I believe giving him 2 more years here is being very optimistic. If something comes available in Texas, I believe he'll go!

ggordon writes:

Unless Clemson can add some strength along the lines of scrimmage, we'll continue to be the proverbial bridesmaid, regardless of who's in the OC chair. Joey Batson needs to make serious changes in the weight room or to move on.

TRUETIGER1 writes:

in response to ggordon:

Unless Clemson can add some strength along the lines of scrimmage, we'll continue to be the proverbial bridesmaid, regardless of who's in the OC chair. Joey Batson needs to make serious changes in the weight room or to move on.

We have a weight room ?

Bigboots writes:

We didnt lose that last game in the weight room. That loss was the product of dull play-calling and dropped passes/ missed interceptions.
We were lacking a strong pass rush also, but the weight room won't do much for a poor defensive scheme that allows a QB to run for twenty yards at will when no one is assigned to bust his tail.

Lynx26 writes:

That weak pass rush.. and weak O-line vs pass rush..... comes from weight room. 85% of the trench play is strength and aggressiveness.

but you do have a point on weak play calling. Although i do not agree with the defensive schemes. LBs have to learn to trigger- Similar to Tig Willard. If Shuey contiues to start.. and Quandon Christian is out there too... we'll continue to be very avg.

Shuey is way more productive but than #34 but stiff as a board. #34 Christian is tooooo SOFT for me. either put him at a safety.. or strictly passing downs in coverage- cant blitz, tackle, or nuttn besides run.

#7 Steward pleeeeease at MLB - cancels the run game and can trigger and attack with the best of em!

See what happens when u force Star power and MLB on #12 Anthony. He's a OLB with great size and athleticism.

OLB - #46 MLB - #7 OLB- 12 = no running period!

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