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New look coach Gus Malzahn gives up play calling duties for rest of season

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on the sidelines before facing LSU Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn on the sidelines before facing LSU Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at Jordan-Hare Stadium. mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

When coach Gus Malzahn said he was evaluating everything this week in the wake of a 1-2 start few thought he meant his fashion choices.

With the help of his wife and two daughters, Malzahn decided to change his look from his traditional visor to a fresh of the rack white Auburn hat.

“My daughters said something about me wearing a visor, I should put on a hat cause I’m getting bald,” Malzahn said. “I’m going to wear a hat from here on out...I saw the replay (last week) and it did look pretty bad.”

The visor wasn’t the most significant change Malzahn made for Saturday night’s game against SEC West rival LSU.

Malzahn relinquished playing calling duties to offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee as he did last year against Texas A&M, but this time it won’t be a one-time experiment.

Lashlee will call the plays for Auburn’s offense the rest of the season.

“I’ve been really leaning towards that for two weeks now,” Malzahn said. “I’m turning it over to him. He’ll do a good job, I thought he did a fantastic job tonight. I need to be the head coach and that’s what I’m going to be. I’m looking forward to Rhett building this offense and Herb (Hand) is going to help out.”

According to Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, the coaching staff notified players of the change on Wednesday.

Malzahn didn’t give many details about how his day-to-day responsibilities will change going forward. He wasn’t in the offensive huddle much Saturday night prefering to listen in on the headset.

It’s the second time since last season Malzahn has tried to redefine his role. He criticized himself for being too much of a “CEO” last season.

“My teams have taken on my personality in the past, and I think we sort of had four or five different personalities last year, all the different coaches' personalities,” Malzahn said in May. “That's on me. That's my fault. You live and learn, and I learned the hard way last year."

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