Malzahn: 'We will get this thing turned around'

Malzahn: 'We will get this thing turned around'

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Gus Malzahn (center) and Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs at Tuesday's press conference. Source: WBRC video Gus Malzahn (center) and Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs at Tuesday's press conference. Source: WBRC video
AUBURN, AL (WBRC) -

Former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is returning to the Plains to be the Tigers' next head coach.

Auburn's Athletic Director Jay Jacobs announced Tuesday afternoon that the search committee had unanimously chosen Malzahn as the new head coach for the Auburn football team.

The Athletic Association held a press conference Tuesday evening to formally introduce Malzahn as the new head football coach.

Malzahn was energetic and expressed his excitement several times at being back in Auburn. His focus centered on moving the team forward from their 3-9 2012 season.

"We will get this thing turned around...to play championship football like Auburn expects," Malzahn said. "Whatever happened last year is last year. It's a new day and my goal is to get Auburn back to a championship level."

Malzahn comes into his new role with established ties to the Tigers. He spent three seasons in Auburn and even recruited some of the current players.

"I will do everything in my power for the Auburn Tigers to be successful," he said.

From the tone of his answers to media Tuesday night, Malzahn will hit the ground running on recruiting, starting the search for assistant coaches and meeting with players to set expectations for the team. He says he's already identified the deficiencies and says he'll address them immediately.

He says he wants his players to not only be successful on the field but also to be men of character. Athletic Director Jay Jacobs says that Malzahn is the man to do just that because he embodies the Auburn Creed.

To help that effort, Malzahn wants to make sure his assistants aren't just successful in football but in representing those Auburn values.

"I'm gonna take my time and find the right fit for us. We are going to hire men of character that are great example for our players," he said.

Malzahn briefly addressed the latest NCAA investigation of the team.

"I feel very confident that everything is fine and that's behind us," he said.

Malzahn replaces Gene Chizik, who was dismissed from his position Nov. 25 the day after Auburn lost 49-0 to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, finishing the season with a 3-9 record.

Malzahn was hired as an offensive coordinator for the Tigers in 2009 and in his first season, the team set a school touchdown record.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to become the head football coach at Auburn University. It's an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand for three years," Malzahn said in a release issued by the university.

Malzahn will receive $2.3 million a year for five years as head coach and Jacobs confirmed that there is a buy out clause.

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