FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Renowned Arkansas high school football coach Gus Malzahn has joined the Razorbacks coaching staff as offensive coordinator it was announced by UA head coach Houston Nutt on Friday. Malzahn recently completed his fifth season at Springdale High School with a perfect 14-0 season and a state championship in the state’s largest classification.
“We are extremely excited about Gus joining our staff,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He is an innovative coach that will bring a new philosophy and elements to our offense. He has had success at every stop of his coaching career and is one of the rising stars in the coaching profession. Gus is a great addition to our staff.”
Nutt said Malzahn will coach either quarterbacks or wide receivers in addition to his offensive coordinator duties. A final decision on coaching responsibilities will be made after the remaining spot on the coaching staff is filled.
Known for his no-huddle offensive philosophy, Malzahn has been successful at every stop in his coaching career. Malzahn began his career as the defensive coordinator at Hughes High School in 1991. The following season, he took over the reins as the head coach. In 1994, he led Hughes to the AA state championship game with an upset of Pine Bluff Dollarway in the state semifinals. Hughes fell just short of a state title, losing to Lonoke on an interception in the final minute.
His success at Hughes and his wide-open offensive attack landed Malzahn a head coaching position at Shiloh Christian in 1996. From 1996-2000, Malzahn transformed Shiloh Christian into one of the most dynamic offensive prep squads in the nation. He led the Saints to back-to-back state championships in 1998 and 1999.
In 2001, Malzahn took over for legendary coach Jarrell Williams at Springdale High School. Malzahn continued the rich tradition of the Bulldogs’ program. He led the program to two state championship game appearances in the past four years, winning the title in 2005.
Malzahn led his squad to the state title game in only his second season in 2002. The Bulldogs ran into some bad luck in the state championship game. Springdale’s starting quarterback broke his collarbone in the second quarter and the Bulldogs lost a hard-fought 17-10 decision to Fort Smith Southside.
Springdale was on track for another state title game appearance in 2004 before an injury sidetracked the Bulldogs’ title hopes in the state semifinals. Springdale was upset by eventual state champion Little Rock Central, 31-20, after losing its starting quarterback to a broken arm. The Bulldogs finished the season at 12-1.
In 2005, Malzahn and the Bulldogs left nothing to chance as Springdale rolled to the state championship and a perfect 14-0 record. Springdale outscored its opponents 664 to 118, including a 54-20 win over West Memphis in the state championship game. The Bulldogs were consistently ranked among the nation’s top 10 high school teams in 2005.
Malzahn has produced an instructional video and book on his offensive philosophy titled “Hurry Up No Huddle – An Offensive Philosophy.” He has also been a guest speaker and instructor at numerous coaching clinics around the nation.
A graduate of Fort Smith Christian High School, Malzahn was a walk-on wide receiver at Arkansas under then-head coach Ken Hatfield in 1984. He then transferred to Henderson State where he played for Sporty Carpenter.