Gus Malzahn stepped off the plane in Auburn and rushed over to a waiting throng of fans, exchanging high-fives and smiles.
He trumpeted "a new day" for the Tigers an hour or so later at his introductory news conference as head coach Tuesday night, but really he's hoping to return them to days only recently gone by.
Malzahn brings his fast-paced offense back to Auburn two years after that style — and quarterback Cam Newton — helped the Tigers win a national title.
Malzahn was the Tigers' offensive coordinator during their 2010 national championship run before heading to Arkansas State for his first college head coaching position. He led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record, a Sun Belt Conference title and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl, then parlayed that into a job in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.