How do the Springdale/NW AR friends of Malzhan feel?

Surely some of the Insiders know these individuals. While I’m not necessarily sad that he stayed, I have to imagine that some longtime friendships have been sorely damaged w/Malzhan’s decision to stay at Auburn. Or, will they overlook it and stay close? It seems to me as an outsider that the Malzhan’s will either 1) have a difficult time going back to visit, or 2) have some new Auburn fans.

It’s so delicate, at least I think it is. Anyone know anything?

I’m glad Gus kept his disloyal show in Auburn! Those folks that are his friends need to realize Gus is loyal to nobody but himself.
We are better off without Gus!

I said this yesterday, but I believe Gus will be fired within three years for not winning enough. Heck, part of the fanbase down there is mad because he lost three games this year. I also think our new coach will be a spread guy. It’s going to take longer to overhaul this team than what many think. Our new coach will be on the hot seat, and in three years, the Springdale/NWA guys will take another shot at Gus.

There’s nothing wrong with them being friends with Gus. However, I hope their loyalty is to the UA & it’s not superseded by loyalty to a friend who I doubt is particularly loyal to them. I don’t understand the cultish atmosphere that surrounds him. Are these people just so convinced he’s the world’s best coach that they want him here? If so, they need to realize he’s not coming. If not, I’d love to know the basis of the unnatural-seeming connection they have to him.

My father in law lives in Springdale and is good friends with Gus and all those guys. I talked to him this morning and they’re disappointed but they understand why he stayed. I asked if they thought he was a fraud for playing his home state and didn’t get much of a response…LOL

You’re right about that and it’s always been that way the man has an ego second to none. He does have a football field named after him at Hughes but that didn’t work out so well, Hughes dropped football the same year, never been a game played on Gus Malzahn Field.

I think there are some people - far from a cult - who have known the Malzahns for 20 or more years and are lifelong fans of the Razorbacks. They have enjoyed seeing him have success wherever he has been, and have been upset as the Razorbacks’ program has fallen off in the last six years. They, like a lot of others, would like to see a homegrown coach and they have long thought Malzahn would be the right person for the job.

In the end, they are still going to continue to be happy for Malzahn’s success and support Arkansas. From my seat, it’s not that hard to understand. It’s the age old tale of supporting your hometown and those who have gone on to other places.

Your timing is off. Hughes dropped football in 2011 and named the field after Gus in 2014 during the 20-year anniversary celebration of the state runner-up team.

I think you are right about the first part, Gus will be let go or “leave on his own” withing 3 to 5 years. I am not so sure about the second part. I think this was the last dance with Gus for the Hogs. I could be wrong.

I won’t be on board for another Gus Bus chace, I was this time, but that’s it for me.

I’m sure those folks were not pleased but if they are friends this decision won’t ruin their relationship. And if they were just along for a ride on The Bus mist likely they are very mad. Who knows how much of what we’ve heard is true. There is no doubt Gus expressed interest in the job.

Did he do it to get the raise/extension/golden parachute?

Did he actually say Arkansas was his dream job? If so Gus was not truthful. The offer he turned down was beyond good. Bottom line was he did not want to leave what he had to come home. Fair enough.

Maybe only Gus, his wife and Sexton know the truth.

One thing is for sure. If I was a coach I’d hire Sexton. Just like if I had my choice of any HC I’d hire Saban. Love um or hate um they are the best at what they do.

I suspect the members of the cult are pretty bummed that the Gussiah isn’t coming back to the flock. With the kind of money he will be getting, perhaps he will build a commune on The Plains. Then they all could be gathered in one spot.

Mossy Lake would it be possible to grow grass with Hughes water on Gus Malzahn field? When I was a kid growing up in East Arkansas, Hughes was known for having the nastiest, stinkiest, worst tasting water on the planet. You would drink it if you were parched, but much like Gus, it sure would leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Disappointed is the correct word. They are not mad. I know several personally. I know and respect these people and understand their friendship with Gus. Some of them go back to his college days at Henderson, some before that. It’s not just Springdale folks who knew him at Shiloh or with Springdale High. These folks will be his friends for life.

It’s interesting because some thought he would definitely come back to Arkansas. Some others thought there was not ever going to happen.

I will give you an example of friendship. I have known Tim Horton since he was a small boy. I’ve known him his whole life, basically. We will be friends no matter where he is or where he goes.

Gus had a chance to come back. I don’t know that he’ll get another chance. But those who are close friends will always be his friend, even if he has another chance and decides against it. They will probably root for Gus as long as it is not against Arkansas.

It’s hyperbole, Matt. Still, I’m talking about the frenetic following he had that went way overboard in getting him onto the UA staff in 2004 or so during the recruitment of the Springdale 5. What you describe is perfectly normal. What I remember goes beyond that & has seemed to extend to today. Much of it, I’m sure, comes from people who hardly know the man, but are convinced he’s the greatest football genius since Rockne. I understand wanting him here. However, there is at least a hint some of them have used their influence to affect decisions by the BOT to accomplish that goal. If so, that’s a bit more than the benign admiration & friendship you describe.

My memories of 2005 are based upon news reports, rumors, and conversations with people “in the know” at the time. They’re not firsthand. But neither Broyles, Holtz, Hatfield, nor Nutt seemed to get this kind of attention. True, they were already UA coaches, but at the time Gus was nothing more than a highly successful HS coach. I don’t mind using the word cult to describe the unusual loyalty to him as a coach. However, I expect anyone on here who reads the word “cult” in that context knows it’s not literal, it’s figurative.

I don’t think it’s cult in any way, literal or figurative. I think fandom covers it pretty well. Some were close friends, many just fans.

Clay and Matt, voices of reason. :wink:

I have never had a close friend who had to make decisions like that. So I don’t know how I would feel. I THINK I would be upset with my friend enough to put them down a peg or two. But again, it is hard to know how you will feel about something until you have been there. I am big on analogies. The closest (but not that close) I have had in my life was how I felt about my high school team. I had a teacher who had graduated from our rival. Game week. I asked her who she was rooting for. She said my high school. I was glad to hear it, but couldn’t understand how that would be. To me, I was a Bulldog (our mascot, and no, not Springdale) for life and couldn’t image rooting against them no matter what. Fast forward 30 years and I live in a different town. I still keep up with my high school teams and hope they win. It hit me that despite that, if my “new” town (lived here now over 20 years) played my old high school, I would be for the “new” town! So, I didn’t know how I would feel until I got there is the point of this overly long story.

I can’t see anything, any connection, making me like anyone or anybody who appears to have “slighted” my Hogs. But, I haven’t lived it. Maybe I would be like those Springdale people.