Auburn University fires head football coach Gus Malzahn

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn watches from the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Kent State, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. – Auburn University has fired head football coach Gus Malzahn.

The University announced the change Sunday, saying Defensive Coordinator Kevin Steele will serve as interim head coach.

Malzahn will be paid the remainder of his contract and a national search for his replacement is underway, according to the university.

In his eight years leading the program, Malzahn compiled a 68-35 record, including a 39-27 record in the SEC, along with an SEC Championship and BCS National Championship appearance in his first season.

Auburn Athletic Director Allen Greene recommended the head coaching change after a “thorough analysis” of the program, and Auburn President Jay Gogue accepted Greene’s recommendation.

“After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership. We appreciate everything that Gus did for the program over the last eight seasons. We will begin a search immediately for a coach that can help the Auburn program consistently compete at the highest level.”

-Auburn Athletic Director Allen Greene

“Coach Malzahn led the Auburn football program with honor and integrity. We appreciate his service to Auburn Athletics, Auburn University and, in particular, our student-athletes. We wish him and Kristi all the best.”

Auburn President Jay Gogue

Malzahn’s wife Kristi posted to Facebook just after 3 p.m., saying she was “grateful” for all the fun memories of his last day as head coach.

“Spending this first day, of a new normal focusing on my God and His kindness and faithfulness. Our last day, as the Auburn coach, started with our son in law graduating with his masters, and now all 4 of our “kids” have degrees from AU and we are so proud and thankful. The day ended with a win and smiles on the players faces and dancing in the locker room (🤦🏼‍♀️srcset="https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tff/1/16/1f926_1f3fc_200d_2640.png?w=160 160w, https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tff/1/16/1f926_1f3fc_200d_2640.png?w=256 256w, https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tff/1/16/1f926_1f3fc_200d_2640.png?w=320 320w, https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tff/1/16/1f926_1f3fc_200d_2640.png?w=640 640w, https://static.xx.fbcdn.net/images/emoji.php/v9/tff/1/16/1f926_1f3fc_200d_2640.png?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" ). He is good, faithful and kind and I am grateful for my memory of that last day. War Eagle & God bless!”

Kristi Malzahn

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