Gus Malzahn
Gus Malzahn is expected to be Auburn's coach in 2019. (Photo: Jason Caldwell/Inside The Auburn Tigers--AUTigers)

AUBURN, Alabama – After a week of uncertainty, negotiations and recriminations, Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn has emerged as the apparent winner.

Malzahn told his assistants at a Sunday morning staff meeting he was not going anywhere. Other sources confirmed that president Steven Leath and trustee Raymond Harbert, who represented Leath in negotiations with Malzahn, will move forward with Malzahn.

Thus ended one of the more tumultuous weeks in recent Auburn athletics history.

After a 7-5 season ended last Saturday with a 52-21 loss at Alabama, Malzahn was taking heavy criticism. Leath and Harbert wanted Malzahn to accept a reduction in his buyout going forward and restrictions on paying assistant coaches. What Malzahn agreed or didn’t agree to is not certain.

Leath and Harbert withstood pressure from numerous corners and stood by their man.

With a game remaining against Purdue in the Music City Bowl, Malzahn is 52-27 overall and 28-20 in the SEC through six seasons. This season started out with high expectations and ended in disappointment. After a 30-24 loss to Tennessee, the calls for change grew loud.

After Auburn bounced back with a 31-16 win at Ole Miss, athletics director Allen Greene said that Malzahn would be Auburn’s coach in 2019. In an interview with AuburnUndercover, Leath said he supported Greene’s statement.

After back-to-back losses at Georgia and Alabama to end the season, anger over the seven-year, $49 million contract with 75 percent that Leath, with Harbert’s support, gave Malzahn last December boiled over. Fans and donors were complained and complained loudly.

But now the deal is done.


Malzahn won an SEC championship and took Auburn to the BCS Championship Game in 2013, his first season as head coach. In 2017, he led the Tigers to the West Division championship and wins over Alabama and Georgia when they were ranked No. 1 nationally.

Since signing his new contract, Malzahn is 7-7 overall and 4-7 against power-five teams and Central Florida