The good character of new Arkansas St Coach Gus Malzahn

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Gus Malzahn is the new Arkansas State Football Coach and will paid 850,000 per year according to the Arkansas Times Blog and not 750,000 like other outlets reported earlier.  Arkansas 360 is reporting that Ark St has a press conference scheduled for 3:30pm today. Malzahn replaces his good friend Hugh Freeze as the new Ark St coach. Malzahn won the Broyles Award last year. (I heard Kevin Kelly of PA may be on Ark St staff.)

Since 1998 I have known firsthand what a great man and coach Gus Malzahn is. The 1998 Ark Bapt team featured a huge line with the Witcher brothers (Sam and Ben) in the secordary and the eagles faced Gus Malzahn’s Shiloh Christian’s team in the quarterfinals. Gus Malzahn took Shiloh’s quarterback Josh Floyd who did not run much the whole year and put in the quarterback draw play. He ran it continually and forced Ark Baptist with their two future all conference defensive backs at Henderson (the Witcher brothers) to come up. Then he hit the long pass on them. It was a brilliant move. They knocked Ark Bapt out of the playoffs and Shiloh went on to win their first of many state championships. As far as his character goes check this out below.

Gus Malzahn:7 Characteristics of a Champion, Part I

Set High Goals

On Tuesday, November 17th East Alabama Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) held the Third Annual Prayer Breakfast at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum on the Auburn University campus. It was a large turnout with close to 1500 students and supporters in attendance. The coliseum was full of notable Auburn Athletic Department employees showing their support for this great cause. Auburn University Defensive Coordinator Ted Roof was recognized from the podium, Athletic Director Jay Jacobs gave the Invocation, and Receiver Coach and Assistant Head Coach Trooper Taylor emceed the event in his normal, energetic, Trooper style. It was great seeing the support from Auburn for the former Auburn defensive linemanWayne Dickens. Dickens is currently the FCA Area Representative for East Alabama. Guests heard both student and coach testimonies of what FCA is doing in area schools, but the highlight of the event was definitely the keynote speaker, Gus Malzahn-first year Offensive Coordinator for Auburn University. His speech was short and to the point, but he challenged the entire room with the 7 (+1) characteristics of a champion. In this series, we will touch on these 7 (+1) characteristics that he discussed, and then spend a little time talking about each.

The first characteristic of a champion is to set high goals. In 14 years of coaching high school football, Malzahn led his team to seven state championships. His offenses at University of Tulsa set both conference and national records during his short tenure, and his first Auburn team sits at number 18 in the nation in total offense and 13 in the nation in scoring offense. None of this would be possible without setting high goals for himself. Coach Malzahn noted that most people pass away without living up to their full potential. The main cause of this is that they do not set high enough goals to challenge themselves to reach this potential which leads to never truly knowing they are capable of.

I completely agree with what Coach Malzahn was saying and have just a few things to add to it. These goals must have measurable results. One can set lofty goals, but without measurable results and a plan to achieve those goals, they are nothing but dreams. Don’t get me wrong, I love to dream, but these dreams will never become achievable goals without a plan that includes measurable short term and long term goals.

Finally, how do your goals line up with Christ? Do they intersect at all? The goal ofFCA is displayed in the Mission Statement, “to present to athletes and coaches and all whom they influence the challenge and adventure of receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, serving Him in their relationships and in the fellowship of the church”. Do you have goals? What are you doing to reach these goals? In these actions, how are you affecting others?

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I first knew that Gus Malzahn was a great coach when in 1998 he brought his Shiloh Christian Saints into Little Rock and beat my Arkansas Baptist Eagles at Eagle Field. In this clip below you will see that the Arkansas Baptist Eagles in the red uniforms had the much bigger team. In fact, many of the Arkansas Baptist players went on to play college ball.

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