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UCF’s search for a new head football coach is winding down as the Knights are in talks with former Auburn coach Guz Malzahn, according to Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel.
Thamel reports the school is “close to finalizing a deal” with Malzahn. An announcement is expected as soon as Monday.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that UCF had offered the head coaching job to Malzahn. The program has been searching for a new head coach for the past month after losing Josh Heupel to Tennessee. Heupel reunited in Knoxville with former UCF athletic director Danny White, who also joined the Volunteers in January.
Malzahn has been on the market since Auburn fired him on Dec. 13, 2020. During eight seasons with the Tigers, he led the team to seven consecutive bowl game appearances prior to the 2020 season. Last year, Auburn went 6–4, marking the second-worst season in Malzahn’s tenure with the Tigers in terms of winning percentage. He amassed a 68–35 record and was 39-27 in SEC play, and he led the Tigers to a BCS championship game appearance in 2013.
“After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a change in leadership,” Auburn athletic director Allen Green said in a statement after parting ways with Malzahn. “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.”
Malzahn’s exit from Auburn included a $21.45 million buyout, which half was paid within the first 30 days of his firing, per his contract terms.
Bryan Harsin was hired from Boise State to replace Malzahn on Dec. 22.