After Auburn’s 28-7 loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn addressed the elephant in the room.
Or, maybe more fittingly, the Razorback in the room.
Malzahn fielded questions regarding rumors that he will leave Auburn to become the Arkansas head coach. Malzahn, who went to high school in Arkansas, started his college playing career at Arkansas and was the Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator in 2006, refuted the idea he has plans to leave Auburn.
“I'm happy at Auburn,” Malzahn said. “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.”
When asked if that meant Arkansas shouldn’t bother calling, Malzahn reaffirmed his feelings.
“I'm the head coach at Auburn, and I just said I want to be the head coach at Auburn,” Malzahn said.
When asked if that meant he will be Auburn’s head coach next year, Malzahn offered four words.
“I want to be,” Malzahn said.
For what it’s worth, one of Auburn’s star players doesn’t see his head coach going anywhere.
Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson explained he doesn’t put much weight into the idea that Malzahn will be coaching a different SEC West team come next all.
“I don’t think he will (leave), but Gus is his own man,” Johnson said. “He makes his own decisions. I can’t tell the future. I just know that today he is our head coach, and I believe tomorrow, next year and whenever I leave, he will be as well.”
Johnson was asked if Malzahn told his players to ignore the outside noise. Johnson said Malzahn doesn’t even acknowledge any talk outside the locker room.
“He’s about as one-track minded as it gets,” Johnson said. “That man was focused on winning an SEC championship, and that’s what we were focused on. We didn’t do it.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports