COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Kevin Sumlin, one of the brightest and most energetic coaches in the country, has been named the Texas A&M head football coach, Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced today.
"It is with great pride that we announce Kevin Sumlin has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University," Byrne stated. "We began this search process a little over a week ago and spoke to many worthy and qualified candidates, but my decision, which was made in consultation with (Texas A&M) President (R. Bowen) Loftin, kept leading me to Kevin. We met this morning to finalize the offer. I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference. First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff."
Sumlin led the Houston Cougars to a school-record 12 wins in 2011 and the program's highest finish in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. He was recently named the 2011 Region 5 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and is a finalist for the National Coach of the Years honors as well. The Cougars led the nation in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense this season, marking the second time in four years to accomplish that feat under Sumlin's direction.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at Texas A&M University," Sumlin said. "Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football. Aggieland is a special place and I look forward to working with the young men in the football program and recruiting the type of players we need to be successful in the SEC."
"With that being said," Sumlin continued. "I can't thank the University of Houston enough for giving me a chance to become a head football coach. It is tough to leave a group of players who have worked so hard and have done things the right way in taking Cougar football to greater heights."
Overall, Sumlin is 35-17 at UH and for the third time in four years has the Cougars headed to a bowl game. In 2008, Sumlin's first year as a collegiate head coach, he led UH to an 8-5 mark and a victory over Air Force in the Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. It marked the school's first bowl victory since 1980.
He was a finalist for the 2009 Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year when he led the Cougars to a Conference USA West Division crown and a final record of 10-4.
Despite losing his top two quarterbacks to injuries in the 2010 season, Sumlin led UH to a 5-7 mark just missing a bowl appearance.
Sumlin went to Houston from the University of Oklahoma where he served as co-offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator while working with tight ends and wide receivers during his five seasons in Norman. During his time at OU, the Sooners went to five straight bowl games with four of those being BCS appearances.
Sumlin is no stranger to Aggieland having served two seasons on the offensive staff with R.C. Slocum. Sumlin came to A&M in 2001 as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach working with receivers such as Terrence Murphy, Jamaar Taylor, Bethel Johnson, Greg Porter and Mickey Jones. After three games in 2002 with the Aggies averaging just 16 points per game, Sumlin was promoted to offensive coordinator and the Aggies averaged 33 points per game the rest of the season and knocked off the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 30-26, at Kyle Field.
Sumlin was a four-year letterman at Purdue, and also made coaching stops at Purdue, Minnesota, Wyoming and Washington State.
Born in Brewton, Ala., he graduated from high school in Indianapolis, Ind., Sumlin and his wife, Charlene, have four children: daughters Courtney and Shelby, and sons Jackson and Joey.
Contract details, which are pending The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approval, were not available at this time and a Monday (Dec. 12) press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hagner Auditorium in the Bright Football Complex.
QUOTES ABOUT NEW AGGIE HEAD COACH KEVIN SUMLIN:
FORMER TEXAS A&M QUARTERBACK BUCKY RICHARDSON:
"I am really excited that Kevin Sumlin is our next head coach. Kevin's energy and youth will give us a great lift as we enter a new era in the SEC. He already has great Texas ties, and once our Aggie fans get to know Kevin, they are really going to love him. He is a winner."
FORMER TEXAS A&M LINEBACKER & CURRENT HOUSTON CHAVEZ HIGH SCHOOL HEAD FOOTBALL COACH JASON GLENN:
"I am excited to hear that Kevin Sumlin is the next head coach at Texas A&M. I like the fact that he has served as an assistant at A&M and I am sure he will embrace our traditions and culture. I am also excited to see my university hire an African-American head coach, which I believe shows that the Aggies are committed to being trendsetters in diversity and equality. I wish Coach Sumlin the best as we move into an exciting new era."
FORMER TEXAS A&M QUARTERBACK MARK FARRIS:
"The thing I remember most about Coach Sumlin is the way he carried himself ... always confident, but not cocky. There's an energy and an aura when he walks into a room that says "winner". He's that rare guy who is a player's coach and still has the respect of every player on the roster. I'm really excited that he'll be the one leading the Aggies into the SEC."
FORMER TEXAS A&M WIDE RECEIVER TERRENCE MURPHY:
"Coach Sumlin was a guy who really understood relationships and is a player's coach. He adapted to different guys but knew what needed to be done to get the best out of each player, not just the receivers, but all the guys. He really cares about the players as individuals and that makes you as a player want to give everything you have for him. This is a great decision by Texas A&M."
FORMER TEXAS A&M LINEBACKER STEVE SOLARI:
"Change is good. The hiring of Kevin Sumlin is a great opportunity to build on the solid foundation left by Coach Sherman. Hiring the first African-American head football coach at A&M is a momentous occasion. I've watched Coach Sumlin's growth as a coach and witnessed his success throughout his career. I am confident that with his leadership, we will have great success in the SEC."
FORMER TEXAS A&M HEAD FOOTBALL COACH R.C. SLOCUM:
"Kevin Sumlin is very respected in the coaching profession. He is an excellent recruiter, a solid coach with a lot of experience, and a great person. He will do well as head coach of the Aggies."
OKLAHOMA HEAD FOOTBALL COACH BOB STOOPS:
"Kevin did a great job for us at Oklahoma and obviously did the same at Houston. He's still a close friend to many of us here and we all wish the best for Kevin, Char and the Sumlin family."
FAN REACTIONS ON TWITTER:
Big ups to Texas A&M hiring Kevin Sumlin as head coach. He is a great choice to revive our program & take it to 'em in the SEC! #gigem— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) December 10, 2011
@CoachSumlin Welcome back to Aggieland!!!Very excited about the future with you leading the way.— Derek Bohls (@Moon_King) December 10, 2011
Welcome back to Aggieland @CoachSumlin, excited to see what the ags can do in the SEC next season with an exciting new coach in charge!— Michael Ward (@economist_mike) December 10, 2011
Welcome to the family @CoachSumlin!— Mac(@macysavage) December 10, 2011