For leading the incredible turnaround from winless in the SEC to national championship appearance, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn has been named the Home Depot Coach of the Year. The award will be presented to Malzahn at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12.
After a year at Arkansas State, Malzahn took over a Tiger program that went 3-9 in 2012 and led them to a 12-1 record in 2013, improving its win total by nine games, the best among all FBS teams. If Auburn wins the BCS National Championship over Florida State, Auburn’s turnaround would be the best in FBS history.
Malzahn is only the second head coach to lead his team to the national championship game in his first year on the job. Miami’s Larry Coker did it in 2001. Malzahn is also the only first-year coach to win the SEC Championship in the title game’s 22-year history.
In addition to Malzahn, Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins will be presented with the John Mackey Award as the country’s outstanding tight end.
In his three years at Washington, Seferian-Jenkins has accumulated 143 catches, 1,801 yards and 20 touchdowns. This season, Seferian-Jenkins had 33 receptions for 413 yards and seven touchdowns.
The other finalists for the Mackey Award, Nick O'Leary of Florida State (33 catches, 557 yards and 7 TDs) and Eric Ebron of North Carolina (55 catches 895 yards and 3 TDs), both had better statistical years than Seferian-Jenkins. On top of that, Texas Tech's Jace Amaro, who pulled in 98 catches for 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns was not named a finalist.
While Seferian-Jenkins had a great season and a great career, him winning the Mackey Award is a questionable choice.
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