Coaching Carousel Ride Comes To an End as UCF Hires Malzahn

February 15, 2021 by Staff

The last college football opening in the FBS has been filled after UCF announced the hiring of Gus Malzahn on Monday. The former Auburn head coach inked a deal reportedly worth $2.3 million per year over 5 years, according to ESPN's Andrea Adelson.

Malzahn will reap a buyout from Auburn of $21.7 million, half of which he has already banked, after being fired on December 13 following a 6-4 campaign.

Malzahn was 68-35 overall at Auburn, and 39-27 in SEC play. In his first season in 2013, he took a 3-9 team from the previous year and went 12-2 with a division title, an SEC title, and a 34-31 loss to Florida State in the final BCS Championship game.

Since then, the Tigers have won a single division title (2017) while Alabama has dominated the division and the conference. However, Malzahn was 3-5 against the Tide while everyone else in the SEC went 3-60 against Nick Saban.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was handed the reins as interim head coach for Auburn's 35-19 Citrus Bowl loss to Northwestern.

Tennessee announced on Wednesday, January 27th that it had plucked Josh Heupel from UCF to serve as its new head coach. The Vols had fired Jeremy Pruitt on January 18 "with cause", along with numerous assistants, for alleged NCAA violations. The dismissal "with cause" prevented Pruitt from receiving a buyout settlement, but will almost surely result in a lawsuit.

Heupel spent 3 seasons in Orlando leading the Golden Knights to a 28-8 record over-all, a 19-5 record in the American Conference, and a 1-2 mark in bowl games.

See: Coaching Changes