Kevin Sumlin

Last updated

Kevin Sumlin
Kevin Sumlin, Head Football Coach, Texas A&M University.jpg
Sumlin during his tenure at Texas A&M
Biographical details
Born (1964-08-03) August 3, 1964 (age 56)
Brewton, Alabama
Playing career
1983–1986 Purdue
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1989–1990 Washington State (GA)
1991–1992 Wyoming (WR)
1993–1996 Minnesota (WR)
1997Minnesota (QB)
1998–2000 Purdue (WR)
2001 Texas A&M (AHC/WR)
2002Texas A&M (AHC/OC/WR)
2003–2005 Oklahoma (TE/ST)
2006–2007Oklahoma (co-OC/WR)
2008–2011 Houston
2012–2017Texas A&M
2018–2020 Arizona
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
2 C-USA West Division (2009, 2011)
SEC Coach of the Year (2012)
C-USA Coach of the Year (2009, 2011)

Kevin Warren Sumlin (born August 3, 1964) is an American college football coach. Sumlin served as the head football coach at the University of Houston from 2008 to 2011, Texas A&M University from 2012 to 2017, and at the University of Arizona from 2018 to 2020. [1]


Early life

Sumlin was born in Brewton, Alabama, on August 3, 1964. [2] He later attended Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School [3] in Indianapolis, where he played football, basketball, and ice hockey. [4]

Following his prep career, Sumlin attended Purdue University and was a starting linebacker throughout his entire college career. He was a member of the 1984 Peach Bowl team and finished in the top ten in total tackles with 375 (191 solo, 184 assisted) and in the Top Twenty in solo tackles with 191. He led the team in tackles during his freshman season of 1983 with 91 total tackles, (50 solo, 41 assisted). He was a teammate of players such as Jim Everett, Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, fellow linebacker Fred Strickland and long-time NFL players Mel Gray and Cris Dishman.

Coaching career

Early years

Sumlin served as an assistant coach at Washington State, Wyoming, Minnesota, and Purdue (all, except for Minnesota, alongside Joe Tiller); served as assistant head coach at Texas A&M for two years under R.C. Slocum; and for five years at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops, serving the last two years as co-offensive coordinator. In addition to Stoops and Slocum, he has served as an assistant coach under Mike Price at Washington State and Joe Tiller at Purdue. While at Purdue, he and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney aided Tiller in implementing the then-uncommonly used spread offense, and the Boilermakers, with Drew Brees as starting quarterback, broke a string of Big Ten passing records and made a surprise run to the 2001 Rose Bowl, Purdue's first Rose Bowl in three decades. [5] He left for Texas A&M to serve as the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach for two seasons before joining the University of Oklahoma.

In his final year with the Oklahoma Sooners, Sumlin's offense was one of the best in the country, averaging 44 points per game. [6]

Head coaching career

In December 2007, Sumlin was hired as the head coach of the University of Houston. [7] [8] In December 2009, Sumlin was announced as a finalist for the Paul "Bear" Bryant Award. In 2011, Sumlin coached Houston to a 12–0 start before losing the Conference USA Championship Game to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles. [9]

On December 10, 2011, Sumlin told his players he was leaving Houston, effective immediately, in order to accept a job at another school. [10] KRIV in Houston and ESPN's Joe Schad both reported that Sumlin was to become the new coach at Texas A&M University. Special teams coordinator Tony Levine coached Houston in the 2012 TicketCity Bowl. [11] [12]

In 2012, Sumlin named quarterback Johnny Manziel his starter. [13] Manziel would go on to win the Heisman Trophy and Sumlin would take Texas A&M, in their first year in the Southeastern Conference, to an 11–2 record, including victories over then #1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, and #11 Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The Aggies finished the 2012 season ranked in the top 5 of both the Coaches Poll and the AP Poll for the first time since 1956. Texas A&M would also lead the SEC in total offense, total scoring offense, total rushing yds, and led the nation in third down conversion percentage. Sumlin and the Aggies would become the first SEC team in history to amass over 7,000 yds in total offense. Coach Sumlin was the first head coach to win more than eight games in his first season as head coach. [14]

On November 30, 2013, Sumlin agreed to a new six-year contract as head coach at Texas A&M. The contract, valued at $30 million over six years, was guaranteed. If Texas A&M had fired him after the 2015 and 2016 seasons, the buyout amounts ($20 million and $15 million respectively) would have had to be paid out within 60 days of termination. [15]

On November 21, 2017, news outlets reported that Sumlin would be fired following the 2017 season finale against LSU. [16] On November 26, 2017, Sumlin was fired after six seasons. He compiled a 51–26 record during his tenure. Despite never posting a losing record as the coach of A&M, he only won more than nine games once, and only had one winning record in SEC play. Sumlin received a $10.4 million buyout under the terms of his contract, and was replaced by Jimbo Fisher for the 2018 season. [17]

On January 14, 2018, Sumlin was hired as the University of Arizona's head coach. [18] Sumlin suffered perhaps the worst defeat of his coaching career when his University of Arizona team lost to their traditional in-state rival Arizona State on December 11, 2020 by a score of 70–7. The following day, Sumlin was fired. [19] [20]

Head coaching record

Kevin Sumlin as Texas A&M Coach - October 2012 against LSU Kevin Sumlin - 2012.jpg
Kevin Sumlin as Texas A&M Coach – October 2012 against LSU
Houston Cougars (Conference USA)(2008–2011)
2008 Houston 8–56–23rd (West)W Armed Forces
2009 Houston 10–46–21st (West)L Armed Forces
2010 Houston 5–74–43rd (West)
2011 Houston 12–1 [n 1] 8–01st (West) TicketCity [n 1] 1418
Texas A&M Aggies (Southeastern Conference)(2012–2017)
2012 Texas A&M 11–26–2T–2nd (Western)W Cotton 55
2013 Texas A&M 9–44–44th (Western)W Chick-fil-A 1818
2014 Texas A&M 8–53–55th (Western)W Liberty
2015 Texas A&M 8–54–4T–5th (Western)L Music City
2016 Texas A&M 8–54–44th (Western)L Texas
2017 Texas A&M 7–5 [n 2] 4–4T–4th (Western) Belk [n 2]
Texas A&M:51–2625–23
Arizona Wildcats (Pac-12 Conference)(2018–2020)
2018 Arizona 5–74–5T–3rd (South)
2019 Arizona 4–82–76th (South)
2020 Arizona 0–50–56th (South)
      National championship        Conference title        Conference division title or championship game berth


  1. 1 2 Sumlin left for Texas A&M University following the regular season. Tony Levine served as interim head coach for the Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl. Houston finished the season with an overall record of 13–1.
  2. 1 2 Sumlin was fired after the regular season. Jeff Banks served as interim head coach for the Aggies in the Belk Bowl. Texas A&M finished the season with an overall record of 7–6.

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  1. Schad, Joe (December 13, 2007). "Source: Houston hires Sumlin, eighth minority coach in FBS". ESPN. Retrieved December 13, 2007.
  2. "A different South for Sumlin's father". September 5, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  3. "Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School | Men and women for others" . Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  4. Kraft, Tyler. "Kevin Sumlin's ride around IMS brings excitement, memories". The Indianapolis Star. Retrieved November 16, 2020.
  5. "Kevin Sumlin, the unlikely QB guru". ESPN. August 12, 2014.
  6. Mark Schlabach, Yellow Jackets, Wolverines, Midshipmen earn high marks,, December 17, 2007.
  7. "Source: Houston hires Sumlin, eighth minority coach in FBS". ESPN. December 13, 2007. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  8. "Kevin Sumlin Named 11th Football Head Coach on Friday". University of Houston. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  9. "Southern Mississippi vs. Houston - Box Score - December 3, 2011 - ESPN". Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  10. Khan, Sam Jr. Sumlin leaves post as UH head coach. Houston Chronicle, December 10, 2011.
  11. Berman, Mark. Kevin Sumlin is Leaving the University of Houston. KRIV, December 10, 2011.
  12. Source: Kevin Sumlin to coach A&M. ESPN, December 10, 2011.
  13. "Kevin Sumlin's Absolutely Ridiculous Quarterback Tree". Bleacher Report. March 19, 2014.
  14. Burson, Rusty (September 1, 2013). 100 Things Texas A&M Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. ISBN   9781623682873.
  15. "Kevin Sumlin to receive new 6-year deal from Texas A&M" (article on Sporting News )
  16. Zwerneman, Brent (November 21, 2017). "Source: Report: Sumlin to be fired after LSU game". KBTX. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  17. "Texas A&M fires Sumlin, eyes FSU's Fisher" . Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  18. "Arizona officially hires Kevin Sumlin as new head coach" . Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  19. "Arizona Announces Change In Football Leadership". University of Arizona Athletics. Retrieved December 13, 2020.
  20. Lev, Michael (December 12, 2020). "Arizona fires football coach Kevin Sumlin after 70-7 loss to ASU in Territorial Cup". Arizona Republic. Retrieved December 13, 2020.