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June 2, 2011
In 2005, he was football coach at Springdale (Ark.) High. Six years later, Malzahn is the hottest college football assistant in the nation.
In his second season on the Plains, Malzahn developed Cam Newton into a Heisman-winning quarterback and helped the Tigers win the national championship with his hurry-up, no-huddle attack. Malzahn developed the offense as a prep coach before taking it to Arkansas, Tulsa and then Auburn.
Vanderbilt made a run at Malzahn, but he ultimately rebuffed the Commodores' overtures and a reported offer of $3 million per season to stay at Auburn, which in turn made him the highest-paid assistant in the nation. Auburn bumped Malzahn's salary from $500,000 to $1.3 million annually.
Malzahn isn't the only assistant who will be a wanted man when head-coaching jobs open after the 2011 season.