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Monday, Dec. 13, 2010

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn staying in Auburn, will get raise, extension

- abitter@ledger-enquirer.com
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Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is staying with the Tigers, and he'll get a raise and contract extension as a result.

Malzahn, who is in his second year with Auburn, reportedly turned down an offer in the neighborhood of $3 million a year to be Vanderbilt's next head coach to stay with the Tigers.

Auburn confirmed the news in a press release Monday evening, although it did not give specifics about Malzahn's new deal. A source told the Associated Press that Auburn will double Malzahn's $500,000 a year salary, making him one of the top paid assistants in the country.

"Gus Malzahn has played a large role in the success of our football program the last two years and we're very pleased to be able to give him a raise and extend his contract," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said. "In my opinion we have the best staff in the country, and while we want our coaches to strive to become head coaches, retaining them as long as we can is important to me and the entire Auburn family."

The 45-year-old Malzahn became a hot coaching commodity this year after his Tigers set a number of school records, leading the SEC in total offense, rushing and scoring. Earlier this month, he won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant.

"I'm very appreciative of Coach Chizik and the entire administration for their support," Malzahn said. "My family and I love Auburn and right now my main focus is helping Auburn win a national championship."

Vanderbilt targeted Malzahn shortly after deciding to part ways with Robbie Caldwell after one 2-10 season, reportedly meeting with him late last week and upping their lucrative offer in the neighborhood of $3 million a year.

The Washington Post reported Sunday night that Malzahn had verbally agreed to the deal, although Vanderbilt officials said that report was not true. Several reports emerged Monday afternoon that Malzahn had turned down the Commodores' offer.

Maryland offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting James Franklin is thought to be Vanderbilt's next choice for the job.

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