Gus Malzahn to replace Hugh Freeze as Arkansas State head coach

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pile of footballs on a field

As the college football season comes to an end, administrators across the country are shaking up coaching positions in hopes of a more successful year in 2012. Guz Malzahn, an Arkansas native, was recently announced as the new head coach for the Arkansas State Red Wolves, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Though he did not receive a coaching degree during his education, his love of the game and proven motivational skills likely landed him the spot at Arkansas State. Additionally, Malzahn expressed his desire to take on a head coaching role after several years of offensive coordinating and quarterback coaching.

“The last two years, I’ve kind of got the bug to be a head coach,” Malzahn told The Associate Press, according to “I think you have to investigate each opportunity, but you’ve got to wait until your feel right and this did.”

According to The Times, Malzahn, from Fort Smith, Arkansas, will replace Hugh Freeze as the new head coach of the team, after an illustrious career on both the high school and collegiate level. The Times also notes that Malzahn won three high school state football championships in Arkansas in the beginning of his career.

Coach Malzahn’s strategy is heavily rooted in offensive dynamics, and he has proven his worth several times. One example was his performance as a quarterback coach for Cam Newton at Auburn in 2010, when the now professional player claimed the Heisman Trophy and the school won the BCS National Championship.

Earlier this year, Smart Football published a page out of Coach Malzahn’s playbook. The source explained that Malzahn brings professional-styled passing plays and strategies into the college setting, which, when armed with a stellar quarterback like Newton, spells disaster for many defenses.

Ryan Aplin was the starting quarterback for the Red Wolves this year, and is expected to start next season. According to the school’s website, Aplin has been described by analysts as one of the best scramblers in the Sun Belt conference, as well as “coolest in the clutch.” His ability to move outside of the pocket and make plays will likely be very cohesive with Malzahn’s demanding offensive strategy.

Malzahn proves that with extensive training, including coaching degrees, experience and passion for the game of football, the sky is the limit with opportunities.

Learn more about earning your online Master of Coaching Education from Ohio University.