One Pac-12 program’s home-run hire has been confirmed.
Sunday afternoon, reports surfaced that Kevin Sumlin had been hired as Rich Rodriguez‘s replacement at Arizona. Sunday night, the university announced that Sumlin is indeed the Wildcats’ new head football coach.
Sumlin will be introduced at a press conference Tuesday.
“This is a tremendous day for Arizona Football and I am thrilled to welcome Kevin to our family,” said athletic director Dave Heeke 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.”
“I am humbled and honored to join the Arizona Family,” said Sumlin. “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.”
Sumlin spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Texas A&M, fired after going 51-26 overall and 25-23 in SEC play. In that same span, Rodriguez was 43-35 and 24-30 at UA.
In Sumlin’s first season with the Aggies, redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy as a dual-threat quarterback. Sumlin has now been hired into a situation where rising true junior Khalil Tate is one of the most explosive and productive dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.