The 55-year-old arrives to take over the Knights after eight years at Auburn, where he amassed an overall record of 68-35. Malzahn helped lead the Tigers to an SEC Championship and two West division titles, but could never quite meet expectations. The university fired him after a disappointing 6-4 season in 2020, shocking fans and colleagues alike.
But he didn’t last long on the open market. Just a few months after his dismissal, Malzahn will be back on the sidelines with UCF.
As a result of his past success with the Tigers, Malzahn will be compensated well in his new gig with the Knights. According to documents provided to Nathan King of 247Sports, the 55-year-old old head coach will receive a five-year, $11.5 million contract from UCF.
Although Malzahn commanded a higher price at Auburn, the deal seems fairly generous from the Group of Five program. The Knights clearly got their man and proved it with the solid offer.
Reminder that #Auburn's $21.5 million buyout total to Malzahn is not mitigated by his next job, per the terms of his 2017 contract extension.
— Nathan King (@byNathanKing) February 15, 2021
King noted that Malzahn will still receive the hefty buyout that he’s owed from Auburn. The total is expected to be $21.5 million and will be paid in full, due to the terms of the coach’s 2017 contract extension.
Malzahn will inherit a solid situation at UCF. The Knights have risen to the Group of Five’s elite over the last few years, which included three consecutive 10-win seasons from 2017-19.
Under Josh Heupel in 2020, UCF took a slight dip. The Knights went 6-4, equaling Auburn, and saw their third year coach take the Tennessee job earlier this offseason.
However, UCF boasts plenty of talent and an impressive 2021 recruiting class, which should give Malzahn plenty to work with. The Knights will hit the ground running this spring and try to meet lofty expectations next fall.