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An Open Letter to Jay Jacobs

By on October 31st, 2013 in Football 22 Comments »

                                      I know it’s a little early, but just thought I’d mention it.

Dear Jay,

Pay the man.

Pay him whatever he wants. If he says he desires a platinum golf cart to ride from the front door of his mansion to the garage, a blended cashmere kitchen sink or an ermine lined visor, just pony up the money now. Don’t question, don’t quibble, whatever Gus wants for himself and his staff of coaches, pay it.

No negotiations, no counter offers, no package decisions, just write the blasted check so that we can keep this man forever. Make him the highest paid coach on the planet in EVERY sport if you have too, but keep this man happy to be an Auburn Tiger football coach until he drives off to Billionaire Acres Retirement Home in a Cadillac carved out of jade.

Here is just a smidgen of what Coach Malzahn has accomplished on the plains in just ten short months:

           A suggestion for Gus’s new office decor. Be sure to leave room for the flat screen

  • He hired a tremendously talented coaching staff consisting of some of the best minds in the conference from each position coach up to the coordinator level, including star Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson and the one person with enough knowledge and experience to run his offense as he would himself – Rhett Lashlee.
  • He has established a training and strength regimen that has already resulted in game changing fourth quarter performances when other teams have appeared gassed. Auburn players look faster, tougher and more resilient than any other team they’ve faced.
  • He has revolutionized the Auburn offense into the most potent and powerful running offense in the SEC against some of the premier defenses in the nation. If you’ve forgotten, this is just ten months removed from that same team finishing almost dead last in every meaningful offensive statistic and in imminent threat of having life support turned off. “Running Back U” is now a firm reality instead of a dream-like memory of the far distant past.
  • Auburn is now a disciplined, detail oriented team that executes their game plan to victory, holds onto the ball and commits very few penalties. If you had said on New Year’s Day that this would be the case by the first of November, you likely would have spent the last ten months wearing a straight jacket in a padded cell.
  • He secured a top-fifteen recruiting class purely on reputation. As a new coach with a freshly hired staff, that alone brought every single one of these talented freshmen and transfers players to Auburn, many of which have directly contributed as starters in this miraculous season. I’ll bet now there isn’t a High School offensive player in the nation who doesn’t know who Gus Malzahn is, what sort of offense he runs and what hope they have at starting next year. That is recruiting gold. No amount of pretty team greeters, boozy parties, or $100 hand shakes could possibly impress a young athlete more than the opportunity to play for a coach that will not only win, but set records with his style of offensive. Given a choice to play early and successfully at Auburn or languish on the depth chart somewhere else? The Auburn Campus police will have to beat back future recruits clamoring to be let in with billy clubs.
  • With this latest win, he has led this team to the greatest single season turnaround in Auburn history. He will likely best the conference record in two more games, and set the record for the entire history of the NCAA if his team wins out in the Iron Bowl, an outcome thought completely impossible just 300 days ago.
  • He has unified, electrified and solidified the fan base like few other first year coaches in our history. He has given Auburn fans tremendous games, outstanding performances and stunning victories. The future promises to be even brighter than what we’ve witnessed so far.
  • And he has scared our rivals something awful, even ones who have never faced his former teams or any offensive scheme like them.  Those who have, circled the game with Auburn on the calender months ago.

All this in ten months. If this is any indication of what Coach Malzahn can do for this program, it would be nothing short of criminal to underpay him or cause him to leave for a better opportunity. At the end of the day, when you’re considering if Auburn can afford to keep Gus and Company, what you really have to ask, is can Auburn afford to lose him to coach somewhere else, possibly even at a rival school?

                                Just pay the man. Keep him happy and keep him here.




  1. uglyjoe says:

    I love the passion and I’m not disagreeing. However, I for one am guilty of thinking (feeling) similar things about Chizik about two and a half years ago. Just saying……

  2. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Two words of caution:

    Gene Chizik.

    I do agree. We better be prepared to pony up. Personally, I like incentive based contracts.

  3. longtimetiger longtimetiger says:

    Great read! I could not agree more with every point you’ve made. Even if we finish 7-5 ( we won’t), CGM is worth whatever he asks for the job he has done. While I enjoy the wins, my favorite change on the Plains is in terms of discipline. Everything about our staff screams professional; their approach to life has made a profound impact on the players and in our games. This is what happens, Mr. Jacobs, when you hire winners instead of friends. WDE

  4. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Take a breath Sully. I don’t want to seem too critical here but put your hat back on – the sun can be suprisingly hot. Call me cynical but making him out to be John Heismann I won’t do.

    I think TGT says it right: Gene Chizik.

    AU has had success at coaching a few times in my life time:

    Shug Jordan
    Pat Dye
    Terry Bowden (unbelievable considering his silver spoon upbringing and then to watch him throw it away)
    Tommy Tuberville (another dismal finish to what looked hopeful)
    Gene Chizik (who you will never, EVER see compared to another great coach because he was a flash in the pan)
    & Gus Malzahn

    Give him a few years before you put him on a pedastal. And If ARK wants him… much like I said with Tommy T… let them come and get him. He’s not the only knife in the draw. AU has proven it is fertile ground. You can win championships here.

    Besides, I am tired of giving coaches this kind of power in our University. And I am tired of seeing them getting paid the bucks they do. It’s beyond ridiculous. But if you are looking for that… just go up the street. Bama fans are still wincing at the butt chewing that they took from their ‘sawed-off Napolean want to be’ last week.


    • Mike jimithing78 says:

      Not being a biased Auburn fan, but why do people keep bringing up Arkansas? What would that do for a coach that Auburn wouldn’t do better? What has Arkansas done better than Auburn in the last thirty years? I don’t see how Arkansas would be a step up.

      • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

        …..There is the chance that Gus might wish to coach at the flagship university of his home state. And some Auburn fans like me still remember Auburn low-balling Vince Dooley nearly 33 years ago. Dooley was asked to come back to his alma mater, and was offered less money than he was making at Georgia.

  5. aubfan_in_woodstock aubfan_in_woodstock says:

    While I am a sunshine pumping, Kool-Aid drinking fan when it comes to CGM, I don’t think we should give away the keys to the kingdom quite yet. We have really only had one high quality win against aTm, quasi-quality wins against Ole Miss and MS and a could have been a win, if it weren’t for the first quarter, loss against LSU.

    That being said, if we win out or at least 3 of 4 then the talk of big money will make more sense. I still say wait until end of next year, as the heat will be on pretty high under Bumbalina’s arse at Arky and the temptation may be too great for CGM if we don’t offer Gus a great package at AU.

  6. MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

    Remember most of the denizens of TET predicted a 6-6 season. If we go 10-2 or 11-1 or even 9-3 I say pay him. This may be one of the best AU teams of recent years and next years version may go down in AU lore. Yes, I know I did not exclude the 2010 team from my “best” category but you take away Cam and we lose at least 3 games that year. Overall this team is better IMO

    • Ricky Bobby says:

      It’s been said many, MANY times, but this “take away Cam and we lose at least xyz games in 2010” comment always irritates the hell out of me. It could just as easily be said, take away Nick Fairley and we would have lost at least 3 games. He single handedly kept us in that Miss St. game. Not to mention the fumble he caused/recovered against Bama and COUNTLESS other plays throughout the season. Just so sick of hearing the ‘without Cam’ nonsense. That championship was won because of the TEAM. Both sides of the ball.
      War Damn!

      • MyAuburn MyAuburn says:

        Actually that comment did not come from me. It came straight to my face from Pat Dye. I do agree though.

        • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

          …..I’d have one caution about sunshine-pumping for next year. We’ll lose Ford, Eguae (who has really been a heck of a player since being moved into the middle!), and Sanders on the line, and both Ryans (White and Smith), and Chris Davis in the secondary. That’s six guys on defense that have been instrumental this year, and we aren’t yet great on defense.

          …..The offense loses Jay Prosch, with nothing but walk-ons behind him. And special teams! Parkey and Clark both are done after this year, and likely on to the NFL.

          …..Still, there’s a lot of talent returning. It really looks pretty good. Your real question is whether some of the underclassmen leave for the NFL. Like Greg Robinson, or Mason. Heck, Coates might be draftable, if he keeps improving like he has. If we run the table and beat Bama, there’s going to be interest from the pros.

  7. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    First of all, this is just my personal opinion, based upon what I listed above. I understand your misgivings and hope that this post will generate these exact type of responses for and against (which one of the reasons I went so over the top in the article). I welcome voices from both sides as I am hoping this sparks a strong debate that will last until January.

    But be that as it may, I don’t take this stance lightly. I understand I might be jumping the gun just a little, but you’d be hard pressed to find another first year head coach in the SEC that has made a bigger splash than Coach Malzahn. Zero to Hero is a tough, tough act for anyone to pull off even with smoke and mirrors, but the numbers I’ve been running on this team are nothing short of miraculous (see Cafe Malzahn articles #1 and #2). What I’ve seen in terms of game planning, adjustments and execution is equally impressive.

    You’re welcome to disagree, and I encourage you to express why you do at length, but from my perspective and amateur investigative ability, I believe Gus is the type of coach Auburn should keep long term.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      My gut feeling is that we need to do what it takes to keep the entire staff in Auburn as long as we possibly can but let’s see what happens down the stretch AND what happens with recruiting first.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..Actually, you are correct. I’ve followed Gus since he left the high school ranks. He turned Nutt’s fortunes around in Fayetteville, till Nutt put the brakes on. Gus built an offensive machine at Tulsa that is only just now starting to unravel. I was ecstatic when Chizik hired him, and distraught when he was slowed down after Clemson in 2011. And I think you’ll remember that I was one of the excited folk when he was hired back at Auburn as a head coach.

      …..Naturally, we arm-chair quarterbacks are going to nit-pick, but Gus has done amazing things with year’s team, and I don’t think the good times are over yet!

  8. KungFuPanda9 KungFuPanda9 says:

    I agree with the article. For the naysayers, Chizik had less to do with 2010 than Gus. And Malzahn is not any of the other coaches. His personality is pleasant. He has his social graces intact. The man will be a HUGE recruiting draw… better than any preceeding coach in recent years. In short, Gus will turn this program around and keep it in the forefront as long as he is here.

    Personally, I wish he would stay and decide to establish a legacy like Bobby Bowden did at FSU.

  9. wpleagle wpleagle says:

    I remember thinking when Gus was OC about how horrible it was going to be to lose him when the inevitable head coaching job presented itself (this was still fairly early in Chizik’s tenure, when it looked as if he might be the next 25-year guy). I was in Chiz’s corner until midway in the ’12 season, when we started hearing about the loss of control over the players (the team) and saw how AU was just lying down and dying on the field.
    Having said this, I believe the worst mistake AU made was the huge buyout package we gave Chiz, reputedly NOT at his request. Pay Gus – he’s worth every orange cent, but don’t give lockdown buyouts that cost the University two arms and a leg to exercise if things suddenly go bad (which will hopefully never happen with Gus).

  10. AUJTJarhead AUJTJarhead says:

    does anyone know what incentives are already in his contract?

  11. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Gus is successful, but hasn’t had the chance yet to build a consistently strong program. That’s why I think that he stays at Auburn for a while. He had his chance to go to Arkansas before they hired Bert…in fact both men were hired on the same day.

    We were always worried about Tubbs leaving for Arky. IMO, Tubbs heading to Fayetteville is more likely (today) than Gus heading there. Plus, Bert still has a job and will for the next few years. They will give him time to recruit the players for his system before they axe them…..I mean you know, barring any nefarious motorcycle adventures.