After loss to Georgia, Auburn's Gus Malzahn asked about Razorbacks

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Sunday, December 3, 2017
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn watches teams warm up before the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Auburn and Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Photo by Associated Press
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn watches teams warm up before the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game between Auburn and Georgia, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Gus Malzahn and the No. 2 Auburn Tigers lost the SEC Championship Game and a shot at the national championship with Saturday's 28-7 loss to No. 6 Georgia in Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The consolation for Malzahn is two attractive options for where he'll make his home next season. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville officials were prepared late Saturday to make a substantial offer to lure the Fort Smith native Malzahn away from Auburn and back home. ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach described the nature of Arkansas' offer, according to his sources, as "backing up a Brinks truck."

Malzahn, who led Auburn to a 10-3 record and victories over No. 1 teams Georgia and Alabama in the last month, will also have the option of staying at Auburn, which has prepared a raise and contract extension.

Malzahn was asked in his postgame news conference about where he intended to be next season.

"Yeah, I'm happy at Auburn," Malzahn said. "We have great players. I love my players. As I said before this game, we worked extremely hard to get here to this point, and we've got a very good foundation built and I think the best is yet to come."

A reporter asked whether that meant Arkansas should not bother to call him.

"I'm the head coach at Auburn, and I just said I want to be the head coach at Auburn," Malzahn replied.

The reporter followed by asking will Malzahn continue to be Auburn's coach.

"I want to be," Malzahn said.

Moves are expected quickly now in Arkansas' searches for a football coach and athletic director.

UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz, in Houston for the Razorbacks men's basketball game and to attend a UA Alumni Association service project at the Houston Food Bank, was asked about the searches.

"The only update I have is we're making great progress on both searches," Steinmetz told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Asked whether he was interviewing Tulsa Athletic Director Derrick Gragg today, Steinmetz replied, "I'm not commenting on any of the candidates. But we're interviewing candidates right now."

Steinmetz added of both searches, "We're trying to get it done as soon as we can."

Former Razorbacks logged in with their thought about Malzahn, the offensive coordinator at Arkansas in 2006, shortly after the game.

"Time to come home Gus," receiver Jarius Wright wrote to his Twitter account.

"Here he comes!" wrote quarterback Tyler Wilson, adding the hash tag "GusBus."

Sports on 12/03/2017

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