AUBURN, Ala. — With reports stating Arkansas wants to hire its next head coach soon, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is staying firm with his statements on his future with the Tigers.
Malzahn said on the Peach Bowl teleconference Sunday afternoon he still plans to be with the Tigers in 2018.
“I’m planning on being at Auburn,” Malzahn said. “I said that’s last night that’s where I want to be. Nothing’s changed.”
Malzahn used the same phrasing — “planning on being at Auburn” — on three different questions about the Arkansas interest and a potential new contract at Auburn. He said “nothing’s changed from last night” when asked about negotiations with Auburn.
The moderator for the teleconference told reporters not to ask any more questions about Malzahn and UCF interim coach Troy Walters’ job situations after the second question.
A third question was asked, and Malzahn answered the same way. A fourth reporter who covers Arkansas was cut off from asking a similar question.
Malzahn had similar comments Saturday after the Tigers’ 28-7 loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game.
“Yeah, I’m happy at Auburn. 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.
“I’m the head coach at Auburn, and I just said I want to be the head coach at Auburn… I want to be.”
Wally Hall of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported a new coach and athletic director were expected to be announced at Arkansas on Sunday. Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports also reported Arkansas was “expecting a decision” from Malzahn “by the end of the day Sunday.”
Sallee also noted Sunday that Memphis head coach Mike Norvell, a candidate at Arkansas, was not on the teleconference for the Tigers’ Liberty Bowl:
So, to recap:
– Gus "wants to be at Auburn"
– Gus "plans on being at Auburn"
– @geoff_calkins says Mike Norvell didn't call in to Liberty Bowl teleconference
Anybody want to connect some dots?
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) December 3, 2017