The big development for Gus Malzahn heading into this crucial 2016 season was that he was going to start coaching again. Here’s what he said during the spring:
“I’m a football coach, not a CEO. I probably tried to be too much of a CEO last season. My teams have taken on my personality in the past, and I think we sort of had four or five different personalities last year, all the different coaches’ personalities. That’s on me. That’s my fault. You live and learn, and I learned the hard way last year.”
That lasted all of one game, though it took two more to officially make the change.
“That was really my plan in the offseason, was to be more involved like I talked about. Sometimes reality hits you,” Malzahn told AuburnUndercover.
Malzahn called plays for Auburn’s losses to Clemson and Texas A&M — sandwiched around a win over Arkansas State — and called it a negative experience. He relinquished the duties to longtime understudy Rhett Lashlee for the 18-13 win over LSU on Saturday and said he was no longer “living and dying with every play,” along with no longer spending “20 hours a day” in the film room. “It was real refreshing for me to be on the opposite end of that, where you don’t live and die with every play and you can kind of look ahead and see the big picture.”
“In this day and time in this league, to be the head coach and call an offense is not realistic, at least for me,” he said. “It hit me after that first game. What’s best for our team, 100 percent is what’s best. We’ve got very good offensive coaches that will definitely do a great job with that, I believe. I think we’ll get nothing but better.”
Malzahn will never describe himself as a CEO, but instead he’s taken on another acronym — GM, as in game manager.
“I’m going to let them do it now. I’ll still be on top of things and involved but it’s going to allow me to be there for my players more. I think that’s the biggest thing and the other coaches more. It was very refreshing last week from my standpoint, as far as a preparation standpoint, overall just being more of a head coach, game manager and everything that goes with it.”
(HT Auburn Undercover)