Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs announced Friday the school has given Malzahn a new six-year deal worth almost $27 million.
The contract will play him $3.85 million next season and awards him a raise of $250,000 each year after that. That brings the total salary for the contract to $26.85 million.
"As I've said before, we want Coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time,” Jacobs said in a news release from the university. "The new contract includes a raise and extension and is our statement that Auburn is committed to Coach Malzahn for the long haul. While this season has been remarkable, I'm equally excited about the future of our program under his leadership. The future of Auburn football is very bright.”
Last year, Auburn and Malzahn agreed to a five-year deal that paid him $2.3 million a year.
Malzahn engineered one of the biggest turnarounds in Southeastern Conference history in his first season on the job.
Coming off a 3-9 season, Auburn has posted an 11-1 mark and advanced to today’s SEC Championship Game against fifth-ranked Missouri. Malzahn’s Tigers are ranked third in the most recent BCS standings, and a slip-up today by either No. 1 Florida State or No. 2 Ohio State in their conference championship games would appear to give Auburn a shot at a national title.
In an interview with reporters Thursday, Jacobs expressed his belief Malzahn needed to be in the "top half" of the SEC's highest-paid coaches, as his then-contract had him 11th in the conference among schools that report salaries. (Vanderbilt does not release its salary information.)
With his new deal, Malzahn moved up to sixth, just ahead of South Carolina's Steve Spurrier at $3.3 million.
According to USA Today’s coaches salary database, Alabama’s Nick Saban leads the conference and the nation with a 2013 salary of $5,545,852.
Texas’ Mack Brown ($5,453,750) is second, followed by Arkansas’ Bret Bielema ($5,158,863) and Tennessee’s Butch Jones ($4,860,000).
Auburn University president Dr. Jay Gogue told AuburnTigers.com he was happy with the new contract.
"Jay made a good recommendation, and I support it," Gogue said. "A lot of programs would love to have Coach Malzahn, so this is a good move that allows him to continue taking Auburn football where our fans want it. I've consulted with the president pro tem of the Auburn Board (Jimmy Rane), and he let me know that he supports it as well."
Ryan Black covers Auburn University sports for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer and The Anniston Star. Email him at email@example.com. On Twitter @wareagleextra.