For those Auburn fans who want the team to hire Hugh Freeze as the new head coach, we’ve got some bad news.
This past Saturday, the Auburn Tigers defeated the Mississippi State Bulldogs 24-10 to extend their record to 6-4 on the season. With the Tigers once again falling short of contending for the SEC title, the university opted to part ways with head coach Guz Malzahn on Sunday. To prove how serious Auburn was with replacing Malzahn, they are willingly eating the $21.45 million buyout.
Early buzz showed that Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze was a leading candidate to replace Malzahn. Now, that’s no longer the case.
According to John Talty and Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has emerged as a serious candidate and possibly the lead candidate for head coaching job. Steele was just named the interim head coach for the Tigers on Saturday.
Steele is popular among Auburn boosters
In regards to Freeze, Talty and Zenitz heard from their sources that he’s unlikely to get the Auburn gig. Furthermore, they say that Freeze is more likely to leave Liberty for the Tennessee job if the university were to part ways with Jeremy Pruitt.
The two AL.com reporters said that Steele is popular with Auburn boosters, whom are pushing the university to consider him for the job.
Steele does have head coaching experience, as he was the sideline boss for the Baylor Bears from 1999-2002. During his four seasons, Steele led the Bears to a 9-36 record in that span, After that stint, he served in a variety of defensive coordinator and linebackers coach gigs with Florida State (2003-06), Alabama (2007-08, 2013-14), Clemson (2009-11) and LSU (2015), before joining Auburn in 2016.
There’s still time for Auburn to potentially change their tune, but as of this writing, Steele appears to be the favorite to land the job.