The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award will be presented to Auburn’s Gus Malzahn as a part of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN. Malzahn has engineered a turnaround that matches the biggest in college football history.
In his first season as Auburn head coach, Malzahn led the Tigers to a 12-1 season and a berth in the VIZIO BCS National Championship against Florida State on Jan. 6 on ESPN. With a 3-9 record a year ago without Malzahn, Auburn already has improved its win total by nine games this season, best among all FBS teams. A win in the BCS National Championship would make Auburn's improvement the best in FBS history. Malzahn is only the second first-year head coach to lead his team to the national championship game (Larry Coker in 2001, Miami (Fla.)).
With the 59-42 victory over Missouri, Malzahn is the only first-year head coach to win an SEC Championship in the 22-year history of the title game. He is the third coach in SEC history, and first in 66 years, to win an SEC title in his first year at a school, joining Bernie Moore at LSU in 1935 and John Vaught at Ole Miss in 1947.
Malzahn served as Auburn’s offensive coordinator at Auburn from 2009-11. The coach, who won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2010 while helping the Tigers to the BCS National Championship, returned to Auburn after serving as the head coach at Arkansas State in 2012, where he led the program to the Sun Belt Conference title.