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Auburn fires head coach Gus Malzhan after eight seasons

One of the longest-tenured head coaches in the SEC is released.

Auburn head coach Gus Malzhan receives the winning trophy following the conclusion of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff classic game on September 1st, 2018 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA. Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Auburn Tigers have fired head coach Gus Malzhan after eight seasons on The Plains.

Auburn athletic director Allen Greene made the change after a “thorough analysis” of the program according to a statement, and that a search will begin immediately.

What might even be more interesting is the amount of cash owed to Malzhan by the Tigers. Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reports the buyout is $21.45 million, and that it will be paid in full. In the middle of a pandemic and with college athletic departments hemorrhaging money due to the lack of ticket sales and the gifts that come with them, this is a real hit. Even for a school that takes in over $50 million a year from their media deal alone.

Malzhan was 68-35 at Auburn, and had been the head coach since 2013 following just one year as head coach at Arkansas State. He went to seven straight bowl games, winning two of them, but never won an SEC Championship after his first season. And despite a pretty good 3-5 record against Iron Bowl rival Alabama, it wasn’t enough to keep him in his job.

The Tigers beat Mississippi State 24-10 yesterday in Starkville.