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#pounditFriday, January 21, 2022

Gus Malzahn to coach UCF from bizarre location

Gus Malzahn

UCF head coach Gus Malzahn suffered a fractured right tibia during last week’s home game against Tulane, but he won’t let that keep him away.

On Saturday when UCF hits the road to take on SMU, Malzahn will remain on the sideline. Sort of.

For the first time in his 31 years of coaching, Malzahn will have a platform constructed on the sideline so that he’s able to coach his players face-to-face. It will certainly be different, but he prefers it to coaching from the box.

“[On Thursday] we had a dress rehearsal of how we’re going to do it in the game and I’m going to be up on a little bit of a platform on the sideline,” Malzahn told 96.9 The Game on Friday. “I just don’t want to go in the box. I want to be down there with players [and] my coaches.”

The platform will stand roughly seven feet high, which is a height they settled on during the week. It’s not quite as tall as a lifeguard seat, but it’s not very far off, either.

“It’s not going to be quite as high as [a lifeguard seat],” Malzahn said with a chuckle. “I’ve got to figure out how to get up there too. It gives me a good vantage point and I’m close enough to my players where if I need to call somebody over, talk to them face-to-face, or with my coaches, I think it’s the best we can do.”

With Malzahn climbing up on a platform, it will result in several other changes on the sideline and in the box. Offensive line coach Herb Hand will move to the coach’s box upstairs, while quarterbacks coach G.J. Kinne will move down to the sideline.

“I’m kind of an active guy anyway and I like to be up and down the sidelines and go visit the different positions during timeouts or when one side has the ball so it’s going to be different for me,” Malzahn said. “We’ll see how it works. . . It’s going to be a different deal for me, there’s no doubt.”

Kickoff between UCF (6-3) and SMU (7-2) is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

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