Former Auburn football head coach and current UCF locker room voice Gus Malzahn blessed Hugh Freeze ahead of the Oxford, Mississippi native’s debut season on the Plains — oh-so-colorfully claiming that the new Tigers HC is “really, really good” and assessing the university-coach fit as “really good.”
“I think Auburn and Hugh is a really good match,” Malzahn said (h/t Auburnundercover). “Auburn is an unbelievable place. Hugh is really, really good. I’m excited for both parties. You can win the whole thing there. Unbelievable fan base and support. He’s coming at a great time with NIL and the new facility. Everything came together.” Freeze also commented on Malzahn; saying that the current Knights HC has had consistent contact with him since being onboarded by Auburn AD John Cohen and the AU administration.
“There’s been many, many, many conversations while he was here as the coach a bunch, and obviously after he left here a bunch,” Freeze said on August 30. “Then after I’ve gotten here there’s been a bunch. He’s a dear friend that I trust immensely. He’s got great wisdom and insight.”
One former Auburn football coach will never help onboard a new hire
Seeing Malzahn and Freeze chum it up is funny because there’s another former Auburn football head coach who took over at Arkansas State the year after the former left and two years after the latter did: Bryan Harsin. Of course, the Boise native will never help onboard a new hire in the same way Malzahn currently is.
Malzahn was a national champion offensive coordinator who worked closely with Cam Newton and later led the Tigers to the final BCS National Championship game. Harsin had zero meaningful achievements outside of ending AU’s 21-year winless streak in Death Valley and knocking off Matt Corral and Ole Miss, but those two events happened during a losing campaign; though at least a bowl-eligible one.
Truth be told, getting to stay an Auburn man after leaving the Loveliest Village only happens when you were an Auburn man while there. There was no “hard work” done by Harsin on the recruiting trail, so that honor is bestowed upon the disgraced ex-Tigers coach.