Gus Malzahn honored as national coach of the week
Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn has received coach of the week honors from the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation after Malzahn led his Tigers to a 48-45 upset win over in-state rival No. 5 Alabama on Saturday.
The foundation memorializes the career and legacy of famed Georgia Tech head coach Bobby Dodd, who coached the Yellow Jackets for 22 years. Dodd is a member of the National College Football Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach. The Peach Bowl manages the Bobby Dodd Award on behalf of the foundation.
Peach Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan recognized Malzahn’s leadership during the course of the season.
“Coach Malzahn has been an incredible presence for the Auburn program both on and off the field,” Stokan said in a release from the foundation. “In a season where the Tigers faced one of the toughest schedules in college football, they’ve found a way to persevere, not only on the football field, but in the classroom as well.”
The high-stakes nature of the 84th edition of the rivalry drew the foundation’s attention this week.
“The Iron Bowl seems to always have massive implications on the College Football Playoff, and that was certainly the case again this year,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation. “In a back-and-forth affair, Auburn was able to make crucial plays when it mattered most. Rivalry games always meant a great deal to Coach Dodd. He would have loved the coaching chess match that played out during the game.”
Late last week, Yellowhammer News outlined many of Malzahn’s achievements as Auburn’s coach, which have cemented his elite status not only in the pantheon of great Auburn coaches but as one of the best in all of college football.
According to the group, the Dodd Trophy presented by the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl – along with the Dodd Trophy Coach of the Week Award – celebrates the head coach of a FBS team who enjoys success on the gridiron, while also stressing the importance of scholarship, leadership and integrity.
The Bobby Dodd Foundation also sought to highlight Malzahn’s program for it’s off-the-field achievements, as well.
Malzahn’s program earned an Academic Progress Rating (APR) score of 982 last season, which represented the third-highest score in the SEC. Malzahn and his wife Kristi recently created the Malzahn Family Foundation, Inc., with the goal to give back to the local Lee County community. The foundation is working to raise money to rebuild homes for survivors of the deadly tornado that struck Beauregard, Alabama, in early March.
With the regular season concluded, Malzahn’s Tigers await their bowl bid. He has now coached his team to a bowl game in every one of his seven seasons as Auburn’s head coach.
ESPN currently projects Auburn to face Wisconsin in the Citrus Bowl on January 1.
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia