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Malzahn tweets thanks on first anniv. of Auburn return

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AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -

Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn took to Twitter Wednesday to offer his thanks to those who were responsible for recruiting him back to the Plains in 2012.

"I want to thank the hiring committee of Mac Crawford, Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Jay Jacobs for giving me this opportunity one year ago today," Malzahn tweeted.

The coach stepped off an airplane at the Auburn airport with Athletics Director Jay Jacobs in the evening hours of December 4, 2012. He'd left just a year prior to take his first head coaching job with Arkansas State.

[Related: Malzahn returns to Auburn as head coach 12/4/12]

Greeting him when he returned was a team in shambles just a season after his decision to leave as offensive coordinator. He'd helped lead the Tigers to their first national championship in half a century in 2010.

By 2012 the Tigers had fallen to just 3-9 with no conference wins, their coach fired shortly after one of the team's worst performances in the Iron Bowl, a blowout 49-0 at Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Since returning to Auburn, Malzahn has been at the helm of one of the most unlikely, and rapid, turnarounds in college football, leading his team to an 11-1 regular season capped off with the Iron Bowl of all Iron Bowls.

Malzahn leads his No. 3 ranked team to Atlanta as the SEC West champions where they'll soon face the No. 5 ranked Missouri Tigers for the SEC Championship title and the possible chance to get back to the national championship game in January.

Hired back to the Tigers with one of the lowest pays in the SEC, Malzahn's tweet of thanks may soon be repaid with a new commitment from Auburn, which would surely love to keep him around for years to come.

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