Gus Malzahn's Springdale High team ignored rumors, pressure to become one of best teams in Arkansas history

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By Brandon Marcello |

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas -- Gus Malzahn had finally made it to the top level of high school football in Arkansas.

But the naysayers had also followed him to Springdale High in 2001. His offense may have sent Shiloh Christian, a small private school, to two state championships, but there was no way that gimmicky offense could work at a big school like Springdale.

How could he step into the big shoes of Arkansas legend Jarrell Williams, a coach for 36 years, and overhaul the program with a hurry-up, no-huddle approach? Some of those questions were aired out in public, and others decided to do so behind closed doors.

"At Springdale for years they had the mentality that only two things can happen when you throw a pass: an interception or incomplete pass," said Don Struebing, Springdale's offensive line coach at the time. "The only thing we ran close to a forward pass was a toss sweep."

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