Sunday was a relatively slow day until midafternoon, when reports surfaced that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had accepted an offer to become Vanderbilt head coach.
Phillip Marshall, Senior Editor, AuburnUndercover.com
The reports were wrong.
As of early Sunday night, Malzahn was still Auburn’s offensive coordinator and had not accepted Vanderbilt’s offer. That could change by Monday morning. Or not. What seems certain is that the situation is on the verge of being resolved.
Within 24 hours, Malzahn is likely to either be the new Vanderbilt head coach or be set for another year as Auburn’s offensive coordinator. If he goes, he will be, by far, the most highly paid coach in Vanderbilt history. If he stays at Auburn, he will be the most highly paid assistant football coach in the country.
Which will it be?
As late as Sunday morning, Malzahn told people close to him that he was not going to take the Vanderbilt offer. But the offer apparently grew over the course of the day, causing him to at least reconsider. Though Auburn’s offer is extremely lucrative, more than twice as much as any Auburn assistant has ever been paid, it doesn’t come close to Vanderbilt’s offer.
Malzahn, who made $500,000 this year, has never made a secret of his desire to be a head coach. He has to decide now whether he wants to take on the challenge of being head coach at a school where winning consistently is widely considered impossible or return to Auburn and see what’s comes open a year from now.
Either way, we are told Malzahn is completely committed to coaching Auburn’s offense in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 10.
The question is where he will go to work on Jan. 11. And for now, there’s no way to know the answer.