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Kevin Sumlin introduced as new coach of Texas A&M

Kevin Sumlin AP

Kevin Sumlin‘s first press conference as the new coach of Texas A&M went about as well as it could have. Sumlin has great charisma and a confidence about him that’s unmistakable; it’s no wonder he’s an ace recruiter.

Whether or not his next five years will go as smoothly for Sumlin as the Aggies transition into the toughest conference in college football — and the toughest division based on recent history — is yet to be determined.

Some quick notes from Sumlin and A&M athletic director Bill Byrne:

  • Sumlin said nothing was finalized on the job until Saturday morning. It was reported that A&M was making a late run at Georgia coach Mark Richt.
  • Sumlin will be out recruiting beginning this afternoon. It’ll be a situation similar to what’s happening at Ohio State. The current A&M staff will continue to prepare and coach the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas while Sumlin handles A&M’s 2012 class.
  • Byrne said Sumlin’s basic contract, which has not been finalized, is for five years at $2 million annually. Never thought I’d refer to a $2 million salary as “modest”, but it reveals two very important facts: 1) Sumlin really wanted the job (he could have negotiated for more) and 2) it leaves plenty of wiggle room for Sumlin to tackle his first major assignment — hire the best damn defensive coordinator that wiggle room will allow.

Which brought up a good question: how does Sumlin, an offensive mind, adjust to a league that has been known for outstanding defensive play?

“Wherever I’ve been, we’ve done what’s necessary to win that league or division,” Sumlin said. “We’re going to do what’s necessary to win [in the SEC]… we’re going to be diverse in what we do.”

Indeed. A&M’s been a .500 program or so for the past decade in the Big 12. It’s not going to get any easier in the SEC. But, the best minds navigate to the highest levels, and Sumlin’s a bright mind.

Sumlin and A&M will be one of the most-watched, and certainly most-scrutinzed, teams for the next few years.

For today, though, Sumlin’s press conference was smiles and rainbows.

“I have a real appreciation for the traditions here at Texas A&M,” said Sumlin, who was an assistant at A&M from 2001-02. “It’s a very, very special place.”

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7 Responses to “Kevin Sumlin introduced as new coach of Texas A&M”
  1. florida727 says: Dec 12, 2011 1:58 PM

    Congratulations, Coach Sumlin. Looking forward to seeing what your offense does against SEC defenses. I hope you recruit the kind of athletes you need to run the system you want. It’ll make for an exciting addition to the conference. Competition is what everyone perform at their best. Sincerely wishing you well…

  2. tradeassociation says: Dec 12, 2011 2:10 PM

    florida727:

    Sumlin knows more than the “air raid” type offenses. He was the offensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 2002 when Reggie McNeal, a dual threat type, was their QB, and back then they ran the ball more than they threw it.

    Also, Bobby Petrino was a “wide open offense” guy at Louisville before going more conservative at Arkansas to protect his QBs. Sumlin isn’t a one-trick pony. He’s been in college coaching at a variety of schools for over 20 years, and as a player he was a linebacker in the Big 10. So no, he isn’t another Mike Leach or Hal Mumme.

  3. barbeaux says: Dec 12, 2011 3:22 PM

    I think he’ll do fairly well.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Dec 12, 2011 3:25 PM

    Good luck with that. I wonder who they’ll try to hire after the 2014 season and Sumlin is history. Does ANYONE really think they’ll have a .500 season in the next 5-6 years in the SEC?

  5. ancientcougar says: Dec 12, 2011 7:59 PM

    I think he should have stayed at Houston for 1 more year; theres a chance he would have wound up Head Coach at UT.

  6. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 12, 2011 8:44 PM

    As a Penn State Fan, I’m really feeling better about that Ticket City Bowl now.

  7. ranksarot says: Dec 12, 2011 10:39 PM

    One word for Sumlin: defense. Aggies need a defense more than anything else. I have confidence in Sumlins offense. I have no confidence in the Aggie defense.

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