Texas A&M has selected Kevin Sumlin as its new football coach, school officials announced today.
Sumlin posted a 12-1 record this season at Houston and a 35-17 record in four seasons at the school. He replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired after a 6-6 season and a 25-25 record in four seasons in College Station.
A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said school officials finalized a deal this morning with Sumlin, a former A&M assistant coach under R.C. Slocum. Terms were not announced and Sumlin will address the media for the first time as A&M’s coach during a Monday news conference in College Station.
Sumlin was A&M’s play-caller in 2002 when the Aggies defeated No. 1 Oklahoma, 30-26, at Kyle Field with freshman quarterback Reggie McNeal leading the offense.
A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said school officials “spoke to many worthy and qualified” candidates since Sherman’s dismissal on Dec. 1 but the consensus was to hire Sumlin.
Byrne said the decision was made this mornign in consultation with school president R. Bowen Loftin.
“I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference,” Byrne said in a statment released by school officials.. “First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff.”
In a statement, Sumlin said he was “very excited” about the opportunity to coach at A&M after leading Houston to a school-record 12 victories in 2011.
“Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football,” Sumlin said. “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.”
Several former A&M players, including former quarterback Bucky Richardson, praised the move to bring Sumlin back to College Station.
“Kevin’s energy ... will give us a great lift as we enter a new era in the SEC,” Richardson said. “He already has great Texas ties, and once our Aggie fans get t know Kevin, they are going to love him. He is a winner.”
_ Jimmy Burch