by Max Brantley
Thanks to Alabama press, we have some comments from Arkansas State University's new head football coach, Gus Malzahn, about his wife's Internet-viral video appearance and how it might have figured into his decision to leave a $1.3 million SEC assistant's job for much lower pay at a much smaller school.
Gus Malzahn says a YouTube video that was edited to cast his wife in an unfavorable light was manipulative and "very unfortunate."
He went on to say:
"I've got one of the best coach's wives ever. I would not be in the situation that I'm in right now professionally without her. She's been a great coach's wife," Malzahn said.
The situation that he's in now? That could be viewed a couple of ways, but I'm sure he meant it positively. The theme developing in Alabama seems to be that Malzahn was urged to exit Auburn by head coach Gene Chizik, who wants to play a different brand of football, and that Malzahn's previous high value as a head coach somewhere else might have been diminished by the video commotion. He'd been mentioned for some big openings this year. By ASU Athletic Director Dean Lee's own account, Malzahn more or less came calling to him. But Malzahn and his wife are Arkies. And Hugh Freeze's one-year at ASU turned him into a million-dollar-man, so there's no reason similar performance by Malzahn wouldn't be similarly reward-worthy someday. Meanwhile, the ASU football community is VERY excited this week.
HOUSING UPDATE: I have a variety of FOI requests still pending with ASU, including for the draft version, if it isn't formally completed, of Malzahns contract. Meanwhile, I did receive documents indicating the house that will be provided for Malzahn at 3613 Lacoste Drive in the RidgePointe subdivision (home, too, to deep pockets Wallace Fowler) was purchased by ASU from an LLC controlled by Fowler in December 2007 for $439,067. It was purchased to be the home of ASU Chancellor Robert Potts, now retired. A successor hasn't been hired.