Former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, who was recently relieved of his duties as the head coach of Auburn, will coach again in 2021 at the helm of UCF, Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports reports.
Auburn has called Malzahn their head coach since 2013,but decided to pay his $21 million buyout to fire him after a disappointing 6-4 2020 season.
UCF has seen three different head coaches lead their team since 2017, the year they claimed to have won a national championship after an undefeated season and a win over a Malzahn-led Auburn team in the 2018 Peach Bowl. The coach of the Knights during that time was Scott Frost, who left the program to coach Nebraska.
Most recently, UCF had Josh Heupel as head coach, however, he decided to depart from the program to accept the head coaching job at Tennessee.
Malzahn is no stranger to moving around. While his seven-year stop at Auburn was his longest, he has been affiliated with eight different football programs at the high school and collegiate level serving numerous roles.
Group of Five programs have recently been making a push toward the top, having several teams ranked within the top 25, and a few within the top 10 – UCF is usually one of the higher-ranked programs.
“I’m thrilled to be the head coach at UCF, and I’m truly looking forward to being part of Knight Nation,” Malzahn said. “It’s exciting to be head of a program where the future is extremely bright. I will be hitting the ground running in terms of getting to know our team and everyone else connected with UCF. Our goal is to be ready to win championships.”
This is a big jump for the school that calls the American Athletic Conference home. Malzahn had seen success in the SEC, with an overall coaching record of 68-35 at Auburn.
Could this be the move that finally pushes a Group of Five program into the College Football Playoff?