Auburn athletic director Allen Greene reiterated Tuesday that Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn is Auburn’s coach ‘for the future,’ while affirming plainly that Malzahn will coach the Tigers’ team next season.
Greene chatted with a group of reporters moments after the Auburn football team’s regular press conferences Tuesday in the Auburn athletics complex. When he was asked about Malzahn, through a question that posited that school officials hadn’t yet outright said that Malzahn is the team’s coach for the future, Greene responded clearly.
“He’s our coach for the future,” Greene said.
Later, when he was asked, Greene went on to say that Malzahn will coach the Tigers in 2019.
Malzahn signed a seven-year, $49 million contract extension with Auburn last December after he led the Tigers to the SEC Championship Game.
This season, as Auburn’s suffered three losses and fallen short of the championship aspirations it set for itself in the preseason, groans from frustrated fans have grown.
But when given the chance to clear the air on his position in a brief, unscheduled talk with a handful of media members Tuesday, Greene reiterated his thoughts clearly.
Greene has put his support behind Malzahn in meetings with the media all season.
“I’ve shared this before: When you compete in this league, and you’re investing in a football program the way that we were chosen to invest in a football program, you expect to be successful more than a normal team,” Greene said Tuesday.
“When that doesn’t happen, that’s frustrating, for me, for Coach, our student-athletes, our fans, because we expect more. Coach expects more. After seeing some games, I know that we’re young in some positions and I think there’s a lot of talent in those positions.
“I know Coach is working really hard to recruit — and the staff — to recruit additional talent, which … he’ll hit home runs in that regard. He’s going to continue to be a really good coach here for us, and I’m really excited to work with him and help provide Auburn fans the type of football program that they deserve.”
Tuesday, Greene first chatted with reporters about Auburn’s efforts to change the SEC’s scheduling in the future to alleviate the Tigers’ troubles every other year in having to play at Georgia and at Alabama in the same season, like the team is this season over the next three weekends.
He said school officials are working to make changes to that part of Auburn’s football scheduling, though there likely isn’t a way to make any changes there before 2025, as the conference’s scheduling is set.
“It is really important for us to think really hard about how to be able to accomplish that,” Greene said.