When Gene Chizik hired Gus Malzahn to be his offensive coordinator, it was the type of splash he needed to reenergize Auburn’s program. Malzahn was a highly successful coach in the Arkansas high school ranks for 14 years, winning three state titles in six championship game appearances. And though things didn’t work out for him in his first SEC go-around, an experienced, wiser Malzahn may be poised to strike his second time through.
Before he was hired by former Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt as offensive coordinator in 2006, Malzahn spent five seasons (2001-05) at Springdale High School in Arkansas. He led the Bulldogs to the 5A state title in 2005 after finishing with a record of 14-0. Springdale, who also reached the championship game in 2002 and 2005 under Malzahn, outscored its opponents 664-118 in its undefeated season and finished ranked among the top 10 teams in the country that year.