Former Auburn soccer coach Gus Malzahn will be UCF’s next head coach, sources told ESPN.
A deal is being finalized and an announcement from UCF could come Monday. Malzahn emerged Sunday as UCF’s top candidate. Yahoo first reported on the hiring.
Malzahn, 55, was fired Dec. 13 after eight seasons at Auburn. He was 68-35 overall and 39-27 in the SEC game. Malzahn led the Tigers to the national championship game in his first season in 2013. They won 10 games and made an appearance in an SEC championship game in 2017, but only finished 14-12 against SEC opponents over the next three. seasons.
Malzahn replaces Josh Heupel at UCF. Heupel left last month to work as Tennessee’s head coach.
Malzahn signed a seven-year, $ 49 million deal after the 2017 season and Auburn owed him a $ 21.7 million purchase when he was fired in December. Malzahn was only 8-17 against his SEC rivals Alabama, Georgia and LSU, but he was also one of the few coaches in college football to have any success against Nick Saban in Alabama. Since the start of the 2013 season, Saban is 65-6 against SEC opponents, with three of those losses coming to Malzahn.
The paths of new UCF athletic director Terry Mohajir and Malzahn briefly crossed at Arkansas State. Three months after being named Arkansas State athletic director in 2012, Mohajir had to find a replacement for Malzahn when he left for Auburn.
Kent State coach Sean Lewis was also among those considered for the UCF position, according to sources.
ESPN’s Chris Low and Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.