Arkansas native and Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn was introduced as the new head football coach of the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Wednesday.
Malzahn said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be a head coach in his home state.
“This is where I learned football, from Arkansas high school coaches,” Malzahn said. “I’m not a normal college coach as far as the progression goes. So, I’ve always looked for the right place at the right time. Guess what? This is the right place and the right time.”
Malzahn’s path to the Arkansas State job was a bit unusual. You see, he landed the job after his wife’s controversial video mysteriously disappeared from YouTube.
IMAGE CPR found the video on RuTube. That’s Russia’s version of YouTube, although the two video sharing sites aren’t associated with each other.
But get this: Several hours after we posted this story with the full interview of Kristi Malzahn, someone got to RuTube and disabled the video. It’s gone. Talk about censorship. And it’s all over crazy comments from a coach’s wife.
So, here are the details that apparently no one wants you to see:
On Oct. 6, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, a pastor, interviewed Kristi Malzahn in front of a Christian group in Arkansas.
She made several controversial statements about ESPN football analyst and college coaching legend Lou Holtz, former Auburn star quarterback Cam Newton, Auburn sophomore running back Michael Dyer, and Auburn players who she says “aren’t the most intelligent people out there.”
Here are a few highlights:
- On meeting with Lou Holtz: “We got to go to Lou’s house. Gus was way impressed. I kept saying, ‘He has a lisp or something. There’s something going on with his mouth. I can’t really understand what he’s saying. And Gus, was like, ‘Shut up!’”
- On former Auburn QB Cam Newton: “He is cute. Pretty boy. I love him, but don’t tell Gus.”
- On Auburn RB Michael Dyer: “He has a little bit of an attitude. He carries himself with a little confidence that we have to kick around every now and then. But he’s a great kid.” (Dyer has been suspended from playing in the upcoming Chick-fil-A Bowl for breaking an undisclosed team rule.)
- On working with Auburn players. “It goes to a place of questioning his integrity and his character and his intelligence because a group of 18 to 22 year olds did not perform on the field like they should have. And if you’ve worked with 18 to 22 year old individuals, most of the time they’re not the most intelligent people that are out there anyway. We’re the nuts because we’re willing to base our whole entire lives on what they decide to do for the day.”
John Phillips, a sports agent who runs The Breakthrough Sports Agency, originally uploaded the video of Malzahn’s interview on YouTube on Nov. 25. Lots of people watched it. Then it disappeared.
Some sports talk show hosts have speculated that Kristi Malzahn’s over-the top comments might have cost her husband the head coaching positions at North Carolina and Kansas. He was a finalist for both jobs despite Auburn’s 7-5 season. (But let’s not forget Gus Malzahn helped recruit Newton to Auburn in 2010. The Auburn Tigers had an undefeated season last year and won the BCS National Championship Game over Oregon just 11 months ago.) You also have to wonder if her comments about Auburn players made it uncomfortable for Gus to remain at Auburn.
So, Malzahn loses out on two top coaching jobs, the video vanishes, and where does he end up? At Arkansas State where he’ll reportedly be paid $850,000, instead of the $1.3 million he made this season at Auburn as the highest-paid offensive coordinator in college football.
“The last two years, I’ve kind of got the bug to be a head coach,” Malzahn said. “I think you have to investigate each opportunity, but you’ve got to wait until you feel right and this did.”
Malzahn will coach his last game for Auburn at the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Tigers take on Virginia on Dec. 31.
Meantime, many thanks to the Russians for allowing us to enjoy Kristi Malzhan’s entertaining video for at least 24 hours.
And, of course, thanks to Kristi for saying all the great things she said.