UCF hires former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn to lead Knights

Sports

FILE – Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn argues a call during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Alabama in Auburn, Ala., in this Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, file photo. Central Florida hired Gus Malzahn as its football coach Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, a little more than two months after he was fired by Auburn.(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt, File)

(Ap) – Central Florida hired Gus Malzahn as its football coach Monday, a little more than two months after he was fired by Auburn.

Malzahn was 68-35 in eight years with the Tigers, never having a losing season and going 39-27 in the Southeastern Conference. UCF scheduled an afternoon news conference to introduce its new coach.

UCF lost both its athletic director (Danny White) and football coach (Josh Heupel) to Tennessee last month. UCF hired Terry Mohajir as AD last week. Mohajir was the athletic director at Arkansas State during Malzahn’s one season at the Sun Belt school.

UCF has been one of the top teams in the American Athletic Conference since joining the league in 2013. The Knights have won the conference three times and played in three BCS or New Year’s six bowls.

Coach Scott Frost led UCF to an unbeaten season in 2017, capped by a Peach Bowl victory against Auburn and Malzahn. Heupel took over in 2018 and led the Knights to another unbeaten regular season before losing in the Fiesta Bowl to LSU.

The Knights fell off last year to 6-4.

Auburn fired Malzahn in December, paying a $22 million contract buyout to the coach after the Tigers went 6-4 this past season.