Kevin Sumlin named head coach of Arizona football, says program "will win championships".
After a near two-week search, Arizona football has found its new head coach in former Texas A&M and Houston head man Kevin Sumlin. Upon hire, Sumlin will be the first black football head coach in program history after leading Texas A&M to a 51-26 record including going 3-2 in bowl games the past six seasons with the Aggies.
There will be an introductory press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday.
The hiring, reported earlier in the day by Bruce Feldman and ESPN, has been confirmed by Arizona Athletics in a press release Sunday night. The move comes just under two weeks since the firing of former Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez.
"This is a tremendous day for Arizona Football and I am thrilled to welcome Kevin to our family,” UA athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. "He is a proven winner who will have an immediate impact on not only our football program, but also on our department and University. An accomplished coach and an excellent recruiter, Kevin shares our vision and values and fits with who we are and who we want to be. His commitment to academics and to community service are a testament to his character. I have no doubt that Kevin will bring an exciting brand of football to Tucson and that championships will follow.”
Sumlin expressed gratitude and set lofty goals for the future of the program in his own statement.
"I am humbled and honored to join the Arizona Family,” Sumlin said. “With a strong foundation already in place, we will work quickly to assemble an elite coaching staff and immediately begin the work of establishing our culture, recruiting future Wildcats, and connecting with Wildcats past and present. We will win championships. We will graduate our players and they will contribute to the University in many ways while they are here. We will represent Arizona with class and pride. I want to thank President Robbins and Dave Heeke for the opportunity to be a part of something special and I cannot wait to get started.”
The hiring of Sumlin comes after swirling rumors of multiple other candidates including Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo, who issued a statement declaring he's staying put at the Naval Academy. It is not confirmed as to whether an official offer was made to Niumatalolo or not.
Sumlin inherits a team widely considered to be on the rise with Heisman Trophy candidate Khalil Tate in tow and several young standouts on a much improved defensive unit. Defensive coordinator, Marcel Yates, is expected to retain his position along with the additions of Noel Mazzone as offensive coordinator and running back coach Clarence McKinney, according to Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports.
The Daily Wildcat will have more on this story as information becomes available.
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