Gus Malzahn moves on. (Mark Crammer / AP)

Malzahn, 46, will coach the Tigers in the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia.

“I'm very happy for Gus and the opportunity that awaits him at Arkansas State,” Auburn Coach Gene Chizik said in a statement released by the school. “Gus has always had the strong desire to become a head coach and the chance for him to return to his home state that he is so familiar with, will be very beneficial.

“He's meant a tremendous amount to our program the past three years, helping our offense and our program achieve unprecedented heights, winning a BCS National Championship and setting countless offensive records. Gus has experienced success in each stop of his coaching career and I have no doubt that he will have similar results at Arkansas State. We look forward to having Gus stay with us through the bowl game and hope to send him out with a victory.”

Malzahn was Auburn's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for three seasons, helping the Tigers win the national championship last season. He won the Broyles Award last season, given annually to college football's top assistant coach. Last year, quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton set nine school records.

Under Freeze, Arkansas State was 10-2 this season; he will not coach the team when it plays Northern Illinois in the Bowl on Jan. 8. Freeze is best known as the high school coach of Mississippi and Baltimore Ravens left tackle Michael Oher, whose life story was the subject of “The Blind Side.”

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