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Auburn fires Gus Malzahn, names Kevin Steele interim head coach

Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene on Sunday announced that Gus Malzahn is no longer the head football coach on The Plains.

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has been named interim head coach, and a national search for Malzahn’s permanent replacement will begin immediately.

A release said that Greene recommended the change in the football team’s leadership to Auburn University President Jay Gogue after a “thorough analysis” of the program. Gogue accepted Greene’s recommendation.

Malzahn was terminated and will be paid the remainder of his contract, which was set to run through 2024. The buyout was reportedly $21.45 million.

In eight years, Malzahn compiled a 68-35 record including a 39-27 mark in SEC play. He led the program to an SEC Championship and BCS National Championship appearance in his first season and an SEC West title in 2017.

This year, Auburn compiled a 6-4 record in an all-conference regular season schedule, although some of the “wins” — including this weekend’s — were also ugly.

Greene said in a statement, “After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership. We appreciate everything that Gus did for the program over the last eight seasons. We will begin a search immediately for a coach that can help the Auburn program consistently compete at the highest level.”

Gogue added, “Coach Malzahn led the Auburn football program with honor and integrity. We appreciate his service to Auburn Athletics, Auburn University and, in particular, our student-athletes. We wish him and Kristi all the best.”

This is breaking news and may be updated.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn