UCF is expected to introduce Gus Malzahn as its new football coach Monday afternoon, a person with knowledge of the process told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the school had not officially announced the hire.
Malzahn, 55, was fired by Auburn Dec. 13 after eight seasons and a 68-35 record including an SEC title in 2013. Auburn had beaten rival Alabama three times under Malzahn, including as recently as 2019, but struggled to sustain momentum after another trip to the SEC title game in 2017 and eventually fell out of favor with the fan base.
Malzahn replaces Josh Heupel, who took the Tennessee job last month, following former UCF athletics director Danny White to Knoxville. Because of the odd timing in the hiring cycle, the Knights moved quickly to hire Terry Mohajir as athletics director from Arkansas State. Mohajir then hired Malzahn, whom he worked with in 2012 during a one-year head coaching stop before Malzahn took the Auburn job.
Malzahn’s $21.4 million buyout at Auburn is not subject to an offset, meaning he will earn that money plus his salary at UCF. He continues UCF’s trend of hiring offensive-minded coaches and will immediately have credibility and name recognition in the region given his prominence in the SEC over the last decade.