Report: Malzahn accepts offer to become next VU football coach

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 7:20pm
Staff reports

Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is Vanderbilt’s new football coach, according to a report at

A Vanderbilt spokesperson had no comment on the report other than to say that no announcement or press conference has been planned regarding the search for a new football coach.

Malzahn reportedly was offered $3 million per season to replace Robbie Caldwell, who had the job for five months after Bobby Johnson’s sudden retirement and spent several days weighing the offer.

The 45-year-old routinely has directed some of the nation’s most productive offenses as the offensive coordinator at Auburn, Tulsa and Arkansas. He has spent the past two seasons at Auburn and this fall helped the Tigers earn a spot in the BCS title game. His quarterback, Cam Newton, was named the Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday.

In 2007, Tulsa led the nation in yards per game with Malzahn in charge. In his one season at Arkansas, he helped running back Darren McFadden finish second in the Heisman Trophy voting.

Malzahn also has 14 years of experience as a high school head coach in Arkansas, where he won three state championships, coached two quarterbacks who set national passing records and one other, Mitch Mustain, who earned multiple national player of the year awards.

Vanderbilt has finished 2-10 each of the last two seasons and was 110th in total offense and 93rd in scoring offense out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools this fall.

11 Comments on this post:

By: Bellevue on 12/12/10 at 8:11

Malzhan is an outstanding offensive coach. Three million dollars is a lot of money.

Is the administration at Vanderbilt going to allow him academic exceptions regarding recruiting?

If not, the status quo will remain.

By: jwk6179 on 12/12/10 at 10:55

If Gus Malzahn has any success at Vanderbilt, he will only be there a couple of seasons before he leave to take a better and Higher Profile Job. If he doesn't have any success at Vanderbilt, he will be out of coaching in a few years, never to get another coaching job except maybe at a Division II school somewhere.

By: fdanshep on 12/13/10 at 8:39

Having been raised in Nashville, I am interested in Vanderbilt and want to see them do well. Of course Malzahn will be gone if he is successful. The point is whether during his stay a climate of winning will be instituted. It will take more than paying the head man $3,000,000. The facilities will have to be comparable to what the other SEC teams have. The recruiting budget will have to be akin to a blank check. Most top recruits aren't going to be overwhelmed by the library! However, give David Williams credit for apparently getting a man on the rise rather than a Bowden retread.

By: 742180 on 12/13/10 at 9:12

As an Auburn fan, born and raised in Nashville I have mixed feelings. Yet it is a historical fact that Vanderbilt is a coaching grave yard. In the schools history 13 of the 17 head coaches who left Vandy were not head coaches after they left.

Malzahn has a great offensive mind when he has the right type of players. Vandy will NEVER attract these types of players. I'm sorry but it will NEVER happen. Transitioning to a head coach is difficult at best. My opinion based on observation of Malzahn on the sideline and reading interviews suggest that Head Coaching might not be suited for his personality type.

But, BUT 3 million dollars!!! Gotta take it and run, right. If he does accept the position, we (AU Fans) hope he stays through the National Championship Game. Surely he will, it would build his resume significantly, get him tangible proof (a ring), and complete a job started.

War Eagle!!!

By: TITAN1 on 12/13/10 at 9:23

Very nice choice. I'm not going to say that Vandy will NEVER be successful, but this seems like a very good hire and a step in the right direction. If Stanford and Northwestern can be successful, so can Vandy. But they will have to open their vault and keep a successful coach for a very long time.

By: richgoose on 12/13/10 at 9:28

David Williams makes around 3 million dollars a year. It has become the culture at Vanderbilt to throw money at any problem that presents itself LOUDLY.

This is one of those problems. The big contributors and alumni want something done. The faculty says . "You can fix it as long as you do not bring students into this university that do not match our ability to extract 53,000 dollars a year in tuition from the "normal" students parents" The last thing Vanderbilt wants is to fix the football program and lose their academic reputation among the wealthy parents of prep school students.

The answer; Find a high profile coach that the public is aware of and throw some money at him. Malzahn will wind up being a failure coaching football at Vanderbilt but he will escape his middle class struggle for financial stability. I am assuming that he will continue to live in a frugal manner because he must get his financial affairs in order within the next 4 to 5 years.

By: jsnap on 12/13/10 at 1:10

Paying a coach that much and charging as high a tuition as they do is disgusting.

By: damons on 12/13/10 at 2:05

What a great Christmas present! Welcome Mr. Malzahn!

By: jwk6179 on 12/13/10 at 2:58

According to several reports (CBS Sportline, 104.5 The Zone, ESPN, etc.), Gus Malzahn has DECIDED TO STAY AT AUBURN for the time being and not accept the Vandy job. Its seems there are several other HIGHER PROFILE JOBS that has shown interest in his services.

By: TITAN1 on 12/13/10 at 3:14

And the search continues.

By: courier37027 on 12/13/10 at 6:32

From jsnap, "Paying a coach that much and charging as high a tuition as they do is disgusting." jsnap, Vanderbilt is a private institution and can negotiate, pay and offer their employees whatever the parties agree. You should complain about coaches at public universities making so much money. Taxpayer dollars are hard at work making state employee coaches very rich.

In defense of state employee coaches, those in charge of revenue sports often make more money than salary paid. Which is contrarian to many state employees whose sole purposes are pushing paper and collecting a paycheck.