Now that the regular season is over, Auburn has ended it on a sour note and there have been rumors swirling around the team referring to the head coaching position for the last couple of days. Although there have been talks about Gus Malzahn’s hot seat for quite some time (some would say it has been hot for a couple of years now), it has never been hotter than what it is now. Rumors have been circulating about the possibility of Bob Stoops stepping out of retirement to become the new head coach. What is truly going on in the “loveliest village on the Plains?”
Regardless of the rumors, Gus Malzahn has stayed adamant on being the head coach for next season. After signing a seven year, $49 million contract extension before the season, his buyout currently sits at $32 million (the largest buyout in the history of college football). However, he is currently renegotiating the details on his contract, reducing his buyout, to stick around for another year. This is a pretty respectable thing to do and shows that he truly enjoys his situation. Let’s not forget, however, that this is college football. Even if his contract becomes restructured, there is still a possibility that he is still relinquished of his duties and the athletic department continues to seek out his replacement.
According to Josh Moon, a sports writer, an Auburn representative met with Bob Stoops about two weeks ago (possibly shortly after the loss to Georgia) to try and convince him to return back to coaching. Stoops has spoken out to say that no one has spoken to him about the position and even said that he did not know that there was an opening. This is not surprising to hear as coaches are typically known to stick up for other coaches and technically, there is not a vacancy at head coach. Nick Saban claimed to have zero interest in coaching at the University of Alabama, but five national championships later, he is living rather nicely.
Maybe what Stoops is saying is true, and that this is truly just a rumor. Maybe someone did truly meet with him and he respectfully declined, making them to move towards Malzahn taking a pay cut just in case another big name coach does not pop up on their radar anytime soon. We probably won’t get the actual answers until after the off season, or maybe not at all.