The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award will be presented to Auburn’s Gus Malzahn as a part of The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m. ET, on ESPN. Malzahn has engineered a turnaround that matches the biggest in college football history. In addition, The John Mackey Award will also recognize Austin Seferian-Jenkins of Washington as outstanding tight end during The Cree LED Bulb Red Carpet Special at The Home Depot College Football Awards.
In his first season as Auburn head coach, Malzahn led the Tigers to a 12-1 season and a berth in the VIZIO BCS National Championship against Florida State on Jan. 6 on ESPN. With a 3-9 record a year ago without Malzahn, Auburn already has improved its win total by nine games this season, best among all FBS teams. A win in the BCS National Championship would make Auburn’s improvement the best in FBS history. Malzahn is only the second first-year head coach to lead his team to the national championship game (Larry Coker in 2001, Miami (Fla.)).
With the 59-42 victory over Missouri, Malzahn is the only first-year head coach to win an SEC Championship in the 22-year history of the title game. He is the third coach in SEC history, and first in 66 years, to win an SEC title in his first year at a school, joining Bernie Moore at LSU in 1935 and John Vaught at Ole Miss in 1947.
Malzahn served as Auburn’s offensive coordinator at Auburn from 2009-11. The coach, who won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach in 2010 while helping the Tigers to the BCS National Championship, returned to Auburn after serving as the head coach at Arkansas State in 2012, where he led the program to the Sun Belt Conference title.
Seferian-Jenkins, a junior from the University of Washington, has been named the country’s outstanding tight end by the Friends of John Mackey. Seferian-Jenkins becomes the first Mackey Award winner from Washington, and third from the Pac-12. He will be presented with The John Mackey Award during The Cree LED Bulb Red Carpet Special at The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.
In his three years playing at Washington, Seferian-Jenkins has totaled 143 receptions, 1,801 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns making him the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a Washington tight end. He recorded 33 receptions for 413 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013, with 70 percent of his catches going for a first down or a touchdown. All seven of his receiving touchdowns came in the red zone, tying for second most red zone touchdown catches in the Pac-12.
The John Mackey Award is given to the collegiate tight end who best exemplifies the play, sportsmanship, academics, and community values of NFL Hall of Fame Tight End John Mackey.
The Rimington Trophy (outstanding center) will also be presented during The Cree LED Bulb Red Carpet Special at The Home Depot College Football Awards. Reese Dismukes (Auburn), Hroniss Grasu (Oregon), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma), Tyler Larsen (Utah State), Bryan Stork (Florida State) and Travis Swanson (Arkansas) were named finalists on Monday.
The 23rd annual awards show will feature with the live presentation of:
- Nine National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) player awards
- The NCFAA Contributions to College Football Award to John Gagliardi
- The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award to Gus Malzahn
- The Disney Spirit Award to Devon Walker
- Student-athletes selected to the Walter Camp All-America Team and The Allstate AFCA Good Works Teams®
- New for 2013, a live Twitter vote will allow fans to determine the college football Play of the Year. The four top plays to pick from at ESPN.com include “Auburn’s Kick Six,” “Nebraska’s Hail Mary,” “Auburn’s Prayer at Hare,” and “UCF’s One-handed Touchdown” Viewers can vote during the show by tweeting using #PlayOfTheYear and the play name.
Full details on this year’s presenters, finalists and the entire day of college football awards programming.
National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)
The NCFAA encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about our story.
Gracie Blackburn, ESPN Communications, Gracie.Blackburn@espn.com
Liz McCollum, Brener Zwikel & Associates, 813-421-0550 or ElizabethM@bzapr.com