Auburn welcomes back a familiar face, hires Gus Malzahn as head coach

Not to be overshadowed by Arkansas' surprising coup in hiring Bret Bielema away from Wisconsin, Auburn made its own very interesting hire at about the same time on Tuesday afternoon.

Gus Malzahn will have a chance to show that he deserves the credit he (and Cam Newton) got for Auburn's 2010 national championship, because he will take over the Auburn head-coaching job from his old boss, Gene Chizik.

Malzahn's name got brought up often as Chizik, who reportedly wasn't happy that he didn't get enough credit for Auburn's national championship, struggled through an awful season. Malzahn had left to coach Arkansas State, and led that school to a 9-3 record and a Sun Belt title.

Multiple reports, including one from, said Malzahn had taken to the job with the Tigers. Malzahn is recognized as a masterful offensive coach (going back to his days coaching high school), which Auburn desperately needs. When Malzahn left, Auburn moved away from his spread-style attack to a more conventional ball-control offense, and that ended up with disastrous results.

This fit makes a lot of sense. The hire should add some excitement to a program that didn't have much of it this season. It should also prove once and for all if Newton deserves even more credit for that national title with Auburn than he got.

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