It didn’t take very long, but UCF Knights football head coach Gus Malzahn has found his man to replace GJ Kinne as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the form of former Troy Trojans head coach and Auburn Tigers assistant Chip Lindsey. Prior to UCF, Lindsey had been the head coach at Troy from 2019-2021. The hire of Lindsey should not come as a big surprise as he’s been a coach of interest ever since it was announced that Kinne was leaving to become the next head coach at Incarnate Word. It was thought that Lindsey was set to be hired as offensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic, as reported back on December 15th, but he was never introduced by the school and is now coming to UCF.
So, who is Chip Lindsey?
The name should sound familiar. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Gus Malzahn at Auburn in 2017 and 2018. He’s seen UCF up close and personal. Being a former assistant of Malzahn’s, he knows the system, which will be important as we enter year two of the Gus Malzahn era.
Prior his time at Troy and Auburn, Lindsey spent the 2016 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona State. He was the offensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi from 2014-15 and in 2013, he was an offensive analyst for Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Outside of a year as the quarterbacks coach at Troy in 2010, he was in the high school ranks as a head coach from 2005-2012 and an assistant before that.
Wherever Lindsey went as an assistant, the offense produced. As quarterbacks coach at Troy, the Trojans were in the top 40 in passing. At Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles were 12th in total offense in 2015 en route to a division championship. While the 2016 Arizona State Sun Devils opened 5-1 before dropping six straight, the offense scored more than 30 points in three of those losses while the defense gave up at least 37 points in each of the final six games. That season, he did coach a redshirt freshman quarterback by the name of Brady White, a player Knights fans got to see plenty of after transferring to the Memphis Tigers. Lastly, it’s well known that the 2017 Auburn Tigers had a strong season, defeating then top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs and top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide during the regular season and climbing up to second in the CFP before falling to Georgia in the SEC Championship and facing the Knights in the Peach Bowl. That year, the Tigers scored at least 40 points in every game they won outside of the Iron Bowl against Alabama. They also had close losses against the third ranked Clemson Tigers and an upset loss at the LSU Tigers.
Lindsey has never been afraid to be honest with the media. He had this to say during an offensive personnel panel interview at the 2018 Peach Bowl against UCF:
Lindsey graduated high school in 1992 and played two seasons at North Alabama as a wide receiver. He then transferred to the University of Alabama, where he graduated in 1997.
The terms of Lindsey’s contract at UCF, as obtained by UCFSports.com, is a two-year deal that begins on December 28, 2021, giving him an annual salary of $450,000. It runs until January 31, 2024. There is room to make more money in bonuses should UCF go to a bowl game and even more if the Knights win the conference.
The buyouts are as such: If Lindsey is fired without cause before the end of the contract, he’d be owed the remaining amount of the term with an offset clause. If Lindsey leaves before the end of the 2022 regular season, he, or the school hiring him away, will owe UCF $450,000 and 50% of the remaining salary if after the 2022 season. The buyout is waived if he is hired by another school or an NFL team to be the head coach after the 2022 regular season is complete. To clarify, the 2022 regular season ends after the conference championship if UCF is participating or after the last regular season game if they are not.