Auburn AD says Malzahn will return in 2019

Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has had a disappointing season, but the Tigers are still 6-3.Photo Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Athletic director Allen Greene: “He’ll be the coach next year and I’m confident."

Any thoughts that Gus Malzahn might be fired as Auburn’s coach should be discarded if Auburn athletic director Allen Greene is to be believed.

The Tigers went 10-4 last season, with wins over Alabama and Georgia, and Malzahn was rewarded with a new seven-year, $49 million contract in December.

But Auburn has had a disappointing 2018 season has led to suggestions that Malzahn’s job might be in jeopardy. The Tigers, who were ranked ninth in the preseason AP poll, are 6-3 overall and 3-3 in the Southeastern Conference, with road games against Alabama and Georgia as a well as a home game against Liberty remaining.

The fact that Auburn hired a new athletic director (Greene) last January, a month after Malzahn signed his new contract, was another reason Malzahn’s situation seemed tenuous.

But Greene apparently put the issue to rest.

“He’ll be the coach next year and I’m confident — he’s already proven we can get through adversity,” Greene said, according to 247Sports.com. “Every team has it and I’m looking forward to working with him for a long time.”

Malzahn’s new contract calls for a nearly $32 million buyout if he is fired now, and that may be part of the reason Greene is willing to say Malzahn’s job is safe.

Malzahn has a 51-25 record overall and 28-18 in SEC play.

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