With Chip Linsdey out the door to join Les Miles' staff at Kansas, Auburn is searching for its third offensive coordinator of the Gus Malzahn era. There are names that are obvious, but there are some longshots if Malzahn gets turned down by the likes of Hugh Freeze or other top candidates.
Hugh Freeze, Arizona Hotshots offensive coordinator of the Alliance of American Football League
Freeze will be one of the top targets for Auburn’s open position. His friendship is well known with Malzahn. Freeze has been out of coaching for a year though as he left Ole Miss amid scandal. Freeze is a hot commodity though as he has been linked to Tennessee and Florida State’s open offensive coordinator jobs as well as Liberty’s head coaching vacancy.
Alabama attempted to hire Freeze after last year, but the conference stepped in as he was deemed too toxic at the time. It would be interesting to see if the SEC will step in again or allow Freeze to return to the conference.
Eliah Drinkwitz, North Carolina State offensive coordinator
Drinkwitz has coached with Malzahn before as this is a common theme of Malzahn’s past hires. Drinkwitz was on Malzahn’s staff in 2012 at Arkansas State. Drinkwitz left Arkansas State for Boise State and was OC in 2015 before taking over as OC at North Carolina State in 2016. Drinkwitz has done a good job tutoring North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley into a probable NFL draft pick.
Jeff Scott, Clemson co-offensive coordinator
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Malzahn is familiar with the Clemson staff as he has spent time with them in the past. Scott helped tutor Deshaun Watson and was heavily involved in getting Trevor Lawrence to Clemson. Scott would be a very intriguing name if the Tigers land Kelly Bryant.
Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator
Yurcich was involved and even interviewed the last time Auburn hired a coordinator. Yurcich withdrew his name prior to Auburn hiring Lindsey. It would be interesting to see Yurcich’s pass-heavy type of system mesh with Malzahn’s run game.
Kendal Briles, Houston offensive coordinator
Briles is the son of former Baylor coach Art Briles. Malzahn is close with Art, and Kendall has blossomed in his own career post-Baylor. He just agreed to a deal worth 700K at Houston, so it would be interesting to see if he would be willing to accept a similar salary at Auburn with Malzahn likely being on the hot seat going into next season.
Bobby Bentley, South Carolina running backs coach
Bentley was an analyst at Auburn under Malzahn and they are good friends. Bentley’s son is the current quarterback at South Carolina, so would he leave the Gamecocks before his son’s senior year? Bentley has never been an offensive coordinator in college either, but his ties with Malzahn make him an intriguing candidate.
Kodi Burns, Auburn wide receivers coach
Burns is currently on Auburn’s staff and he played under Malzahn when he was the coordinator here during the 2010 championship season. Burns will probably get an interview, but he would be a fall back hire if other things didn’t work out.
Josh Floyd, Hewitt-Trussville head coach
Floyd played quarterback for Malzahn when he was a high school coach in Arkansas. Hewitt-Trussville has developed numerous players over the past few seasons who have signed with Auburn and Alabama. The relationship here is the big reason as to why Malzahn would even consider this.
Brent Dearmon, Bethel University head coach
Dearmon is at his alma mater as the head coach in Tennessee. Former Auburn player Jonathan Wallace is on his staff. Dearmon spent two seasons as an analyst at Auburn under Malzahn, so yet again he has a previous relationship with him.
Dan Enos, Alabama quarterback coach
Enos has tutored Tua Tagovailoa this season and has an abundance of experience. He was the head coach at Central Michigan for five seasons, and was Arkansas’s offensive coordinator from 2015-2017. There is a chance Enos will get a coordinator position this offseason, even if Auburn is a longshot for him
Gus Malzahn, Auburn head coach
Malzahn trusts no one but himself. He has long been involved with the offense, and it seems like he just can’t stay away. If Malzahn wants to call plays, there's a chance he could do that and hire just a quarterbacks coach.
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