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Kevin Sumlin brings plenty of coaching and recruiting experience to Tucson

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Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram | The Daily Wildcat Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin talks to a ref in the second quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 in the Southwest Classic in Arlington, Texas. Texas A&M has fired Sumlin as head football coach.

Former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Warren Sumlin will be the new coach of the Arizona football team. Arizona Athletics issued a press release confirming the hire on Sunday evening.

Landing Kevin Sumlin wraps up a two week coaching search and in the end, Arizona might have ended up with one of the best options. Sumlin will come to Tucson with a current head coaching record of 86-43 and is 4-3 in bowl games. 

Sumlin, 53, comes from a strong football background. He was a starting linebacker for Purdue University from 1983-1986 and ranks seventh in school history in career tackles with 375. Sumlin started his coaching career in 1989 as an assistant coach at Washington State.

In 2001, Sumlin got his first offensive coordinator gig at Texas A&M and stayed for two seasons before joining the Oklahoma Sooners coaching staff for two seasons. From there Sumlin, began to develop an offensive system that was among the best in college football. In his second season with the Sooners, his offense averaged 44 points per game and included a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. 

Sumlin finally became a head coach in 2008 at the University of Houston. His accolades there include a 2009 finalist for the Paul “Bear” Bryant award, an award given to the NCAA college football coach of the year and a 13-1 record with the Cougars in 2011. 

His most recent stop at Texas A&M began in 2012 where Sumlin compiled an overall 51-26 record in six seasons. Sumlin won SEC coach of the year in 2012 after he led the team to an 11-2 record and a Cotton Bowl win. His best body of work came in the 2012 and 2013 seasons when Sumlin had Johnny Manziel as his quarterback. Manziel led one of the most prolific offenses in the conference for two seasons and won the Heisman Trophy in 2012.

In terms of recruiting, Sumlin is as polished a recruiter as Arizona has hired. Four of the six classes that Sumlin brought to A&M ranked in the top 15 and he even recruited the state of Arizona better than the two in-state Pac-12 schools, landing two five-star recruits, wide receiver Christian Kirk and quarterback Kyle Allen. 

A lack of NFL draft picks was a topic of concern during Rich Rodriguez’s tenure but Sumlin produced multiple first round draft picks at A&M, including last year’s No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett and 2014’s No. 7 overall pick Mike Evans. 

At Arizona, Sumlin will inherit a likely Heisman candidate in Khalil Tate and a young defense. Current Arizona defensive coordinator Marcell Yates is expected to remain on Sumlin’s staff, while A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone and running backs coach Clarence McKinney are expected to come with Sumlin to Tucson. 



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