As Auburn struggled though the 2018 season, the chorus of voices calling for head coach Gus Malzahn to be fired grew louder and louder. Ultimately, the Tigers finished 8-5 and had an abysmal 3-5 record in the SEC.
Clearly, Malzahn opens the 2019 season on the hot seat, despite receiving the full support of athletic director Allen Greene after the disappointing 2018 campaign.
Malzahn opened up about this reality, which he not only embraces but sees as a positive.
“Yeah, I’ve got a job that expects to win championships and I knew that when I took this job,” Malzahn said, per Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports. “I love the fact that is part of the job description here. In the years you don’t win championships, you hear stuff like this. I guess I’ve been the head coach six years and, what, four of those years you hear hot seat this, hot seat that. That’s just part of this job. So, I understand that.”
The coach also made it clear that his team and the staff that guided it was not happy with the way the season played out. Yet all that has done is fuel their fire to do better this coming season.
“We had guys come back and like I said earlier, they’re hungry, and our staff is hungry. That’s just part of this job description and I love that fact. We need to play our best football.”
With a brutal conference schedule coming up, Malzahn knows things aren’t getting any easier this season: “I think that’s more our attitude, like we’re rolling our sleeves up and fighting people,” he said. “I just think that’s our attitude as a team.”
This season is certainly going to be a series of difficult battles. Whether Malzahn and his Tigers are up to the task remains to be seen.