Gus Malzahn wins coaching honor

Updated: December 12, 2013, 11:45 AM ET
By Greg Ostendorf | ESPN.com

Auburn's Gus Malzahn has been named the Home Depot Coach of the Year after orchestrating one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history.

[+] EnlargeAuburn's Tre Mason and Gus Malzahn celebrate
AP Photo/John BazemoreFirst-year Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has led the Tigers to a 12-1 record, the SEC title and a spot opposite Florida State in the Jan. 6 BCS title game.

He will receive his award Thursday during The Home Depot College Football Awards show, which starts at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Malzahn arrived at Auburn last December and took over a team that failed to win an SEC game in 2012. The No. 2 Tigers are 12-1 this season, won the SEC championship and earned a spot in the Vizio BCS National Championship, where they will play top-ranked Florida State on Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

The Tigers' 8½-game turnaround from last season matches the all-time mark set by Hawaii in 1999.

Malzahn and Miami's Larry Coker are the only first-year coaches to lead their teams to the national title game. Malzahn is the third coach in SEC history, and first in 66 years, to win the conference title in his first season.

Prior to the SEC title game, Auburn rewarded Malzahn with a six-year contract extension that will pay him $3.85 million in the first year with raises of $250,000 each year thereafter.

"This is where I want to be," Malzahn said. "I love Auburn. You start hearing rumors about this stuff. I didn't want our players or coaches or fans to wonder how I felt. I wanted to be here, and I'm one blessed guy to be the head coach of the Auburn Tigers."

Malzahn served as Auburn's offensive coordinator from 2009-11. He won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2010.

Ted Hendricks Award: Texas senior Jackson Jeffcoat, who was named the Big 12 defensive player of the year, won the award given to the nation's top defensive end, the school announced Wednesday.

Jeffcoat, the son of former Dallas Cowboys great Jim Jeffcoat, ranked third in FBS with 12 sacks and led the Longhorns with 80 total tackles, including 21 for a loss. He also had three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

John Mackey Award: Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who caught 33 passes for 413 yards and seven touchdowns this season, won the award given to the nation's outstanding tight end. He is the first winner out of Washington.

Rotary Lombardi Award: Pittsburgh's Aaron Donald picked up another award, this time as the nation's top college lineman.

Donald beat out Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Donald, a senior defensive tackle, won the Bronko Nagurski award given to the nation's top college defensive player Monday.

Jim Parker Award: Baylor senior Cyril Richardson was honored as the nation's top offensive lineman by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Richardson was the anchor on the line for the Bears, who led the nation in scoring (53.3 points per game) and total offense (624.5 yards per game). He also is a finalist for the Outland Trophy, which will be awarded Thursday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Greg Ostendorf | email

Auburn/SEC reporter

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