It took no more than 30 minutes for the new head coach of UCF to win over his fans.
On Feb. 15, former Auburn and Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn was named as the 12th head coach of UCF Football, as first reported by 247sports.com's Jason Beede. Shortly thereafter during his afternoon press conference, he won over fans in less time than it takes to heat a frozen lasagna.
"This is a job I would say, I've been interested in (for) a long time," he stated, answering a question about his thoughts on the position at UCF. "You know, just looking at the big picture as coaches and looking ahead you say best non-Power 5, job, we need to change the narrative. This is going to be one of the best programs in college football in a short period of time. At times, they’ve been that way. And so that’s another goal of mine, you know as far as that goes."
During this, he used air quotes around the phrase 'best non-Power Five,' proving he's already bought into the culture at UCF. In the Knights' mind, that term does not exist.
Calling UCF a "top-20 coaching job in the country," Malzahn continued to have a high-quality opening conference. With a mix of truth and stereotypical coach speak, he politely answered questions regarding UCF's 2017 National Championship. Of course, he knows all about that; UCF's victory over his Auburn team in the Peach Bowl was the pin of that grenade.
"Well, we were pretty good. They beat us, and we beat another pretty good team," he said, referring to his team beating Alabama that year. "They (UCF) were good." He then joked that he knew the question was coming.
When questioned about beefing up UCF's schedule, he stated that he'd play any team "in the parking lot," hinting at the possibilities of big-time matchups for the club looking to boost its College Football Invitational resume for the committee. Perhaps after coaching an SEC school, he knows what it takes to impress them.
Whether UCF fans on Twitter like to admit it, this is a top-tier hire for UCF. He has roughly a 67 percent career winning percentage, he brings an offensive mind to an offensive-minded team, and he's the only coach in recent memory to have beaten Nick Saban three times. Hop on the bus, UCF fans. Or else it's going to leave without you.