JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - News of Gus Malzahn leaving A-State Nation has been buzzing for a few days, but when it was made official Tuesday afternoon, fans reacted.
News that the Gus Bus officially departed from Jonesboro hit the Arkansas State University campus Tuesday. Students weren't too happy about the news.
"Initial reaction was... I was quite shocked," fan and student, Dylan Travis said. Travis said he was upset that Malzahn came to Jonesboro saying he wanted to build a family here.
"It's really heartbreaking to see a coach who comes in with all these promises and to leave after a year just as Hugh Freeze did," Travis said.
Others weren't as shocked.
"I understand that ASU is not a big time program, so you gotta know that big time coaches are gonna go on to do bigger things," Patrick Thomas told Region 8 News.
He said he thought Malzahn would coach more than just one season at ASU.
"I just wish the promises of 'I'm gonna be here for awhile, I'm gonna work to make this program up to what it could be...' and then taking a big job and leaving right afterwards, that was what got to me the most," Thomas said. "[it's] that he said "I'm gonna be here for awhile." and then took off."
But, both Thomas and Travis are looking on the bright side of things.
"We're getting a giant paycheck for Gus leaving so maybe we'll get another coach up on the rise who might hang around for a little while. If nothing else, we've got the money to back somebody with a name," Thomas said.
Travis said he's already looking forward to ASU's next season.
"Hopefully we can get a new coach in to take us to the next level to beat them next year when we go to Auburn," Travis said. "I support the Red Wolves regardless if Gus is there or not."
During Tuesday night's press conference in Auburn, Malzahn was questioned regarding ASU v. Auburn in 2013. He commented, "...yeah, that's pretty ironic how that works."