But according to published reports, Malzahn's bonus package can push up his total pay significantly.
He can earn extra money based on wins, starting at $75,000 for 10 and going up to $200,000 for 14 victories. If the Tigers play in the SEC Championship Game, the coach will pocket an extra $100,000. If Auburn wins, the bonus goes up to $150,000.
And if Auburn duplicates its national title run of 2010? That's worth an extra $500,000 in bonus money to Malzahn.
He also will get bonuses based on bowl appearances, national rankings and Auburn's performance in Academic Progress Rating.
Auburn University released Malzahn's contract to selected media representatives Monday evening. He signed the contract June 1.
According to USA Today's database of coaches' salaries from 2012, Gene Chizik made $3,577,500 last season.
The only SEC coaches who made less than $2.3 million in 2012 than Malzahn were Tennessee's Derek Dooley ($2,011,000), Kentucky's Joker Phillips ($1,704,250), Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze ($1,505,500) and Arkansas' John L. Smith ($850,000).
Vanderbilt, a private school, was not required by law to release head fotoball coach James Franklin's salary.
Alabama's Nick Saban ($5,476,738) led the conference and the nation in total pay last season.
If Auburn fires Malzahn, the school will owe him less than Chizik in that case, too.
Malzahn's buyout is $500,000 a year through the life of the contract. If he leaves before the contract is completed in 2017, he will owe Auburn $500,000 a year for the life of the deal.
Chizik's buyout when he was fired in November 2012 was $7.5 million through 2015. Two years after winning a national title, Chizik paced Auburn to a 3-9 record last season.
Malzahn's base salary is $500,000 a year, according to published reports.
He also will get a talent fee of $1.8 million, which is split evenly between endorsements ($900,000) and radio, television and personal appearances ($900,000).