Auburn and Gus Malzahn finally reached a breaking point.
After eight seasons, the majority of which were spent shrouded in speculation about Malzahn’s job security, Auburn decided to part ways with Malzahn on Sunday. Athletics director Allen Greene and university president Jay Gogue made the decision in a joint statement, which came after Greene conducted a “thorough analysis” of Malzahn’s tenure on the Plains and recommended to Gogue that it was time for a change.
Auburn will owe Malzahn $21.5 million, half of which will be due within 30 days and the rest in four equal annual payments, as it begins its national search for the program’s 28th head coach.
Auburn’s decision to part ways with Malzahn not only reverberated throughout the SEC on Sunday, but it sent shockwaves throughout college football, as Auburn became the highest-profile opening in the country and Malzahn instantly became one of the biggest coaching names on the market. Here’s a look at what’s being said nationally about Auburn’s decision:
— “The game didn’t pass up an accomplished, smart, veteran, big-time SEC head coach when Malzahn was fired Sunday. Alabama did. And isn’t that what gets every Auburn coach in the end?” (CBS Sports)
— For Auburn and Gus Malzahn, the thrill was gone. (247Sports)
— “The Auburn faithful and the Auburn administration expect peaks and fewer plateaus. That’s why the Tigers are moving on from Malzahn.” (The Athletic)
— Auburn sends powerful message in firing Gus Malzahn (AL.com)
— Was firing Gus Malzahn a smart move for Auburn? (Yahoo Sports)
— Gus Malzahn’s firing shows there’s no price too high for warped fantasy of Auburn football (USA Today)
— “This is a job that will draw top names, for good reason. The search could also include some drama” (The Athletic)
— The largest domino of college football’s coaching carousel unexpectedly fell Sunday (ESPN)
Tom Green is an Auburn beat reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Tomas_Verde.