HOUSTON -- Auburn's Gus Malzahn has won the Paul ''Bear'' Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.

Malzahn led a remarkable turnaround in his first year at Auburn, taking the Tigers to the national title game a year after they went 3-9.

Auburn came up just short in the national championship, with Florida State scoring a touchdown with 13 seconds left to pick up a 34-31 win.

Malzahn, who like Bryant is from Arkansas, says that growing up Bryant was ''the man'' and he is honored to be associated with an award with his name.

Malzahn beat out Baylor's Art Briles, David Bailiff of Rice, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio and David Shaw of Stanford for the honor.

Former Texas A&M coach R.C. Slocum was the ceremony's other honoree, receiving the Bryant Lifetime Achievement Award.