River Valley Natives Earn College Coaching Honors

Posted on: 3:04 pm, December 11, 2013, by


Gus Malzahn and Matt Wells grew up within 20 minutes of one another.

Malzahn was raised in Fort Smith while Wells is from Sallisaw. Now they can both raise coach of the year trophies.

Malzahn, who has led Auburn (12-1) to the national title game in his first season with the Tigers, was named the Home Depot Coach of the Year. Auburn will face Florida State on Jan. 6 at the Rose Bowl for the BCS title.

Wells, who was in his first season as head coach at Utah State, was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Aggies to the league title game. Wells took over for Gary Andersen, who won the same award last season, after he took the Wisconsin coaching position.

The Aggies finished the regular season 8-5 and will face No. 24 Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 26.