Updated: Gus Malzahn wins Home Depot Coach of the Year Award, snags SEC coaching honor

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comDecember 11, 2013 

Auburn's Gus Malzahn won the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday. He will receive the award on Thursday during the Home Depot College Football Awards show.

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

AUBURN, Ala.Gus Malzahn can add another award to his mantle.

Thanks to a 12-1 season and a record-tying turnaround, Malzahn was named the Home Depot Coach of the Year on Wednesday. He will receive the award during the Home Depot College Football Awards show Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

This comes two days after he was selected as the SEC's coach of the year by the Associated Press. And it could keep getting better, as Auburn's first-year coach is up for four more national coaching awards: the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (one of 10 finalists), the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (one of eight finalists), the Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award (one of five finalists) and another presented by the Maxwell Club (one of three finalists).

With a win in the BCS National Championship game, Auburn's improvement over last season's 3-9 campaign would mark the best year-over-year improvement in FBS history. Malzahn has become only the second coach — joining Miami's Larry Coker — to lead his team to the national title game since the BCS began in 1998.

Malzahn showed he hasn't had any problems adapting to the rigors of the SEC, the conference that has won seven straight BCS championships. Auburn's 59-42 victory over Missouri in last week's SEC Championship game made Malzahn the only head coach to win the league title game in his first year. In doing so, he joined Bernie Moore (LSU, 1935) and John Vaught (Ole Miss, 1947) to win an SEC championship in his first year at a school.

One of his players could be honored along with him at the awards show Thursday night, as Reese Dismukes is one of six finalists for the Rimington Trophy, annually given to the nation's best center.

The Home Depot Award wasn't the only honor Malzahn received on Wednesday, though, as the SEC's coaches selected him as the league's coach of the year.

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