November 29, 2012


AUBURN -- Athletic director Jay Jacobs and his trusted compatriots spent their fourth day of Auburn's search for a new coach finalizing plans for the weekend.

It's going to be busy.

Several coaches on Auburn's wish list - Gus Malzahn, Kirby Smart, Charlie Strong, Jim Mora Jr. - work with teams that still have regular-season games ahead. They aren't yet available for face-to-face interviews.

Things evolve quickly once candidates submit for interviews, so the time for seriously analyzing the most likely candidates is at hand. Today we'll take a look at the coach at Arkansas State, whose exquisite play-calling ability helped the Red Wolves remain relevant despite losing Hugh Freeze to Ole Miss.

Let's take a deeper look at Auburn's former offensive coordinator:

He made the decision a year ago to break out into the head-coach business after three largely successful seasons on the Plains. He seemed to have the inside tracks on jobs at North Carolina and Kansas before a video featuring his wife speaking frankly about some Auburn players - edited with prejudice by an Alabama graduate named John M. Phillips - cost him both opportunities.

Malzahn later landed at Arkansas State.

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