— Auburn football players celebrated a strong recruiting effort for the 2017 class in a series of tweets Saturday morning, after the Tigers’ first-year coach announced he would leave his position.
“I love Auburn, and I will be forever grateful for the tremendous support I received from all of you,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn wrote on Twitter.
“My goal is to help build the program that will make Auburn proud for many years to come.
I look forward to helping you and the players accomplish our goals.”
The tweets from the coaching staff and players were a culmination of a series on social media that the Tigers have made a habit of promoting during the past year.
The team’s social media account tweeted a video Saturday of Malzahns son and current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, and tweeted several messages from players and staff members thanking Malzabanks daughter, Brooke, and the rest of the family.
“My favorite part of our recruiting drive is the families we’ve met and the friends we’ve made, and we love the opportunity to build on that success,” Malzanks father, Bob, told the Associated Press on Saturday.
Malzahn is the fourth coach in school history to leave the program.
Malzajas father, Tom, left the program after the 2017 season.
He had been a head coach at Oregon from 1997 to 2006.
In his farewell tweet, Malzans father said that the Auburn coaching staff is “a very special family.”
He added, “It is with great pride that I am announcing my departure from Auburn.
My family and I wish you all the best in the future.”
The Auburn players tweeted about Malzanas departure on Saturday, saying, “Thank you to the Auburn football family for the memories, the friendships, the camaraderie and the passion we shared in 2017.
I will miss the Auburn family dearly.”
Auburn, which was No. 4 nationally in both total defense and points allowed in the SEC in 2017, had been trying to land a coach after Kiffin left.
Malzone had led the program for 11 seasons.
Mal Zahn was the No. 1-ranked recruit in the class of 2017.
He is expected to be a candidate for the same position at the University of Alabama, which had been one of the top programs in the country for years.