JONESBORO, Ark. (KTHV) - A day after Arkansas State University head football coach, Gus Malzahn, announced he is leaving the school, the University held a press conference to discuss the decision.
Malzahn, who coached the Red Wolves for one season, is going back to Auburn University to be its team's head coach.
Athletic Director Terry Mohajir said the athletic department has secured a head coach for the program--John Thompson. He also thanked Malzahn for his work with state over the last year.
In Jonesboro Wednesday, some students were spending more time looking for any information on a possible new coach than they were on their studies. Nathan Nelson, a freshman at ASU said he feels betrayed by the former coach, saying he remembers when Malzahn promised to stay more than one year.
"I just feel a little angry," Nelson said. "He lied to the university and he said at the beginning people who say 'I'm just a one year wonder , they obviously don't know me well.' I guess he just took back his word."
Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin said, despite the situation, he hopes fans rally behind the Red Wolves.
"You've got to face adversity while you're in college and I think that's one thing this class has had to do," Aplin said. "I think we've done a good job with it; now it's time for us to finish."
Malzahn was back in Jonesboro on Wednesday, meeting with the athletic administration to discuss his role in their upcoming GoDaddy.com Bowl Game on January 6. At Wednesday's ASU Touchdown Club meeting in Jonesboro, club president Rick Baker encouraged ASU supporters to buy bowl game tickets and continue showing players that they care.
"It's not about one individual it's about the kids," Baker said. "We're just trying to encourage everybody to stay positive. Whet these kids have done on the field these past 2 years that's what it's all about."
Kent State, ASU's opponent in the bowl game, also lost its head coach, to Purdue. Malzahn will not coach for the game in Mobile.