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GUS: football complex is the only thing we need

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auburn.247sports.com

Gus Malzahn: Football complex is 'really the only thing we need'

ByBrandon Marcello

5-7 minutes

AUBURN, Alabama — Gus Malzahn wanted to do something to let Auburn fans know he’s serious about the future of football.

The sixth-year Auburn coach and his wife, Kristi, did just that by donating $2 million within the last two weeks toward an athletics fund to build a football-only complex. Auburn Undercover reported Saturday morning through a source Malzahn had made the financial donation. He spoke about it publicly for the first time Wednesday.

“That’s really the only thing we need at this time football wise and it’s very important to me,” Malzahn said. “Me and Kristi love Auburn and the future is very bright. We like the fact that we’re a part of it.”

Malzahn agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract in December, making him one of five coaches set to earn an average of $7 million annually across the country. A football-only complex at Auburn will likely cost in the neighborhood of $60 million, according to sources.

“We knew for a long time we wanted to give something toward the project,” Malzahn said. “We just decided in the last couple of weeks what we wanted to do. Auburn has made an investment in me and I want to do the same thing. I think it’s a good thing and me and Kristi are very excited to do that.”

Athletics director Allen Greene presented preliminary information on the need to build a football-only complex to the Auburn board of trustees during a workshop Thursday, the day prior to the board's meeting.

Greene showed the board of trustees a three-dimensional model to the board showing what the exterior of the football complex could look like. No financial details, including the pricetag, and whether fundraising has already started on the project were provided.

Donations, however, have already started rolling in for the project as Greene has been working on the project for quite some time, a source told Auburn Undercover. It's possible Greene could present a full-fledged view of the project seeking approval from the board of trustees at its next meeting Nov. 16, 2018, the source said.

Malzahn agreed to a seven-year, $49 million contract at Auburn in early December and has been hard at work attempting to convince boosters and university officials to move forward with a football-only complex. The complex was part of his contract discussions following the SEC Championship Game in December 2017.

Greene told Auburn Undercover during an episode of "Driving Plains" that he was working hard behind the scenes and the key was winning over deep-pocketed fans by winning football games.

"The most important thing in my opinion is to be here for the long haul," he said. "At some point in time while everyone has the iPhone 10, we might have the iPhone 12."

Malzahn told reporters at the SEC's spring meetings in late May he had "a few" conversations with Greene about a football-only facility, but details were sparse. Malzahn later pitched what he wants an a football-only complex during an episode of "Driving Plains" in July.

The Auburn Athletics Complex, built in 1989, serves as the home of the football program, administrators, media relations, marketing and other support staffers across several sports. The facility also includes a locker room for the football team with access to the Tigers’ indoor practice facility and outdoor practice fields.

Plans have not been presented to the Auburn board of trustees, though the idea of building a new facility has been on the tip of the Tigers' tongue in recent years. A budget line presented to the board in May 2015 provided a hint at potential plans for a new athletics complex, with a tentative budget of $30 million. No commitments for construction of such a facility were made at the time, and plans for renovating Jordan-Hare Stadium were also placed on hold.

Jacobs' exit from Auburn in January complicated matters and a renovation of the stadium — or expansion — appears to be further on the horizon after several false starts near the end of his 13-year tenure leading the department. Renovation plans presented to the board of trustees in his last few years as athletics director included the deconstruction of seats, enhancing the facade outside the stadium and the erection of a new grandstand in the north end zone. Those design plans remained on paper, however, as talks stalled after two to three designs were outsourced and failed to spark interest among boosters and the trustees.

"With regards to that facility specifically, we continue to have talks about what makes the most sense and trying to figure out not only a plan but really putting something forth that we feel like is palatable for our fans," Greene told Auburn Undercover in June. "(We) certainly understand we need to get people excited about it to raise enough money to actually build something, but there's no question in order for us to continue the momentum that we have — and we have a lot of great assets with our university and athletics department, but we have to make sure we keep checking the pulse of the industry. And as the landscape shifts, we want to be prepared to move in the direction we feel like we need to."

Greene wants to be certain a football facility ages well through the years and isn't out of date by SEC standards five to 10 years down the road.

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Read this article. While admirable,  it just takes a little heat off of him personally as a coach. After stealing 49 mil, this is a drop in the bucket for him. Results and respect are gained on the field, not an athletic complex. He just lives to pump sunshine into all the fans and incompetent trustees. Nobody on earth not named Saban should have been given that contract,  which by the way is almost fully guaranteed. Feel bad for our new AD.  His hands are tied. 

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I am not ready to throw Gus under the bus and do understand both sides of the viewpoint concerning Gus. We have a lot of football to play yet and do feel that we can still have a special season. It all begins come Arkansas come Saturday. I feel that we will win this game and will put up some good numbers on both sides of the ball.

A football only complex will help with recruiting and the overall well being of the program. We cannot fall behind SEC teams that have the prime cream of the cream facilities across the football spectrum. A football only complex does not guarantee  perfect seasons, but will help us to achieve what other elite teams in the conference have and are achieving.

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7 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

Gus Malzahn: Football complex is 'really the only thing we need'

Interesting. I'd like a couple SEC OTs, an all-American center, a legit 5* RB, a proven OL coach that can consistently sign the big boys, and an updated route tree...oh yeah, and funnel cake.

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2 hours ago, Deemer 47 said:

Read this article. While admirable,  it just takes a little heat off of him personally as a coach. After stealing 49 mil, this is a drop in the bucket for him. Results and respect are gained on the field, not an athletic complex. He just lives to pump sunshine into all the fans and incompetent trustees. Nobody on earth not named Saban should have been given that contract,  which by the way is almost fully guaranteed. Feel bad for our new AD.  His hands are tied. 

He's being paid the going rate for head coaches with his record. He isn't stealing anything, the market dictated his worth.

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I very much am liking our Athletic Director’s moxy. He also hit the nail on the head..you want donations? You need to WIN football games.

Edited by DAG
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I think we need a college level passing offense.  I think our rout tree is identical to the wing T one I learned in 7th and 8th grade.  In high school we advanced it.

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The man is trying his best to be a beloved coach to Auburn fans. (btw, there's a really nice tax return benefit that comes with that donation.;D)

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8 hours ago, DAG said:

I very much am liking our Athletic Director’s moxy. He also hit the nail on the head..you want donations? You need to WIN football games.

I don't get that way of thinking. If I had $10 million to donate, I'd give it to AU, be the football team 12-0 or 0-12. Now, the AD may be correct, I don't know a thing about how stuff like that works but someone donating to AU because of football wins seems odd to me.

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38 minutes ago, aucanucktiger said:

The man is trying his best to be a beloved coach to Auburn fans. (btw, there's a really nice tax return benefit that comes with that donation.;D)

So, hit only cost him 1.6 million to give Auburn 2 million. Still a significant thing to do.

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38 minutes ago, Mikey said:

So, hit only cost him 1.6 million to give Auburn 2 million. Still a significant thing to do.

Absolutely, just a bit of humor. Hey nobody is a bigger fan of Gus Malzahn than me - he's a very likeable guy IMO and is learning how to be a head coach in the SEC West (something some good coaches never learned).

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I think Gus and Kristi truly love Auburn...The town, the school, the people, the culture, absolutely everything about it. Gus has always wanted to build a program and prove himself ever since Nutt castrated him. If it were up to him, I really think he'd be here till he retired.  I think it's awesome that he is really wanting to try and build something sustainable here.  It seems like we've been on such a carousel of coaches the last few years. Having a coach buy into AU is not the worst thing that could happen.

 

All that said...Gus, please recapture the dynamic, go for the jugular, want to embarrass you in front of your momma mentality and play calling we all fell in love with.  I mean if the '09 offense led by Todd can avg 34 p/gm, then surely you can figure it out with this talent.

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51 minutes ago, Mikey said:

I don't get that way of thinking. If I had $10 million to donate, I'd give it to AU, be the football team 12-0 or 0-12. Now, the AD may be correct, I don't know a thing about how stuff like that works but someone donating to AU because of football wins seems odd to me.

Most people aren’t going to give their hard earn money without some sort of positive reinforcement. It happens every day in many different circumstances. Nothing odd about it at all. Heck the church aren’t just going to donate to missionaries just because. Usually they are expecting them to actually go over to their location and actually plant a church or convert others. That is a simple example. 

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23 minutes ago, DAG said:

Most people aren’t going to give their hard earn money without some sort of positive reinforcement. It happens every day in many different circumstances. Nothing odd about it at all. Heck the church aren’t just going to donate to missionaries just because. Usually they are expecting them to actually go over to their location and actually plant a church or convert others. That is a simple example. 

Or a big school will want to see a coach win with less at a small school before giving them more.

It's reasonable to expect that Gus will use his new toys properly before giving them to him. And he's shown repeatedly that he doesn't always utilize the resources at his disposal properly. 

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1.  How many programs in the SEC and how many programs in the nation have a football only  complex?

2. Our weight room is arguably the best equipt in college football. 

3.  Our locker room is second to none.

4. Football only facility is the only  thing we are lacking.....................and a quality O-line coach.

5. As someone pointed out, Gus could give a lot  more than 2million. probably 5million over the next seven years.   I'm sure he and Kristi  can live off of 2 million a year.

6. WIN!  No excuses and the money will  come. 

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9 minutes ago, ToomersStreet said:

1.  How many programs in the SEC and how many programs in the nation have a football only  complex?

2. Our weight room is arguably the best equipt in college football. 

3.  Our locker room is second to none.

4. Football only facility is the only  thing we are lacking.....................and a quality O-line coach.

1. Most of the big players do

2. It's nice, but it's not close to others

3. You're right, its more like 18th in line. Its most likely 4th in the SECw and probably 7th or 8th nicest in the SEC.

4. Agree

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15 minutes ago, ToomersStreet said:

1.  How many programs in the SEC and how many programs in the nation have a football only  complex?

2. Our weight room is arguably the best equipt in college football. 

3.  Our locker room is second to none.

4. Football only facility is the only  thing we are lacking.....................and a quality O-line coach.

5. As someone pointed out, Gus could give a lot  more than 2million. probably 5million over the next seven years.   I'm sure he and Kristi  can live off of 2 million a year.

6. WIN!  No excuses and the money will  come. 

i know some people love to bash gus but number five is as petty as you can get.

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18 hours ago, aubiefifty said:

A football-only complex at Auburn will likely cost in the neighborhood of $60 million, according to sources.

That's twice as much as what JJ had started planning

 

10 hours ago, bigbird said:

Interesting. I'd like a couple SEC OTs, an all-American center, a legit 5* RB, a proven OL coach that can consistently sign the big boys, and an updated route tree...oh yeah, and funnel cake.

Clay Webb would be a nice starts for that All-Am Center, we would need a legitimate RB coach and recruiter first, I like our OL coach but he hasn't been a stud recruiter, and dear God yes just google "route tree" and take your pic Gus. A hot funnel cake is highly underrated.

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27 minutes ago, bigbird said:

1. Most of the big players do

2. It's nice, but it's not close to others

3. You're right, its more like 18th in line. Its most likely 4th in the SECw and probably 7th or 8th nicest in the SEC.

4. Agree

I'm glad I'm not the only one a little underwhelmed with our locker room lol

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As Nike would say.....Just do it!  Give Gus everything he thinks is needed to put us near or at the top on the numbered check list that has been presented. It is a good check list for the most part and one that should be addressed in a manor that will bring Auburn in the top of the top best facilities in the conference and beyond.

If we give Gus everything he wants to have the best program in the SEC and he does not succeed, then at least we will have everything in place for the next to succeed on a championship level.

I do have faith in Gus and feel that he is on the right path to succeed at a level we can all be happy with.

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