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Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M fires Kevin Sumlin after six seasons as Aggies head coach

November 26, 2017
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Kevin Sumlin has been fired after six seasons as Texas A&M's head football coach the school announced in a release on Sunday afternoon. Special Teams coach Jeff Banks will serve as interim coach.

“Kevin’s tenure included some remarkable achievements and he leaves our program as one of the winningest football coaches in our storied history,” Athletic Director Scott Woodward said in the release. “Kevin made us a better all-around football program and led our program with dignity and character. He’s a first-class person.
 
“Our expectations at A&M are very high," Woodward said. "We believe that we should compete for SEC championships on an annual basis and, at times, national championships. I believe that we need a new coach to take us there. On behalf of Aggies everywhere, my thanks to Kevin and his family for his service to Texas A&M. I wish him the very best.”

After posting a 20-6 record in his first two seasons, Sumlin was awarded a six-year, $30 million contract. However, his next three teams were 8-5. The Aggies finished the 2017 regular season with a 7-5 record after Saturday evening's loss to LSU, which marked A&M's sixth straight loss to the Tigers.

Sumlin leaves A&M with a 51-26 record, but he was only 25-23 in Southeastern Conference competition. More telling, Sumlin’s teams were 16-20 against SEC West Division teams and continued to struggle most with the latter part of the schedule Over the last five seasons, the Aggies were a combined 6-14 in their final four conference games. That partciular record dropped to 1-7 over the past two seasons.

His ouster brings to end a tenure which started fast with an 11-2 showing in 2012 but faded in subsequent seasons. The Aggies finished fifth in the nation in the final 2012 polls, which marked their first Top Five finish since 1956 when Bear Bryant was the head coach. However, A&M managed no more than eight regular season victories in the next five seasons.

The Aggies were ranked 18th at the conclusion of the 2013 season after quarterback Johnny Manziel led a come-from-behind victory over Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but finished the next four seasons unranked despite fast starts. Since 2013, A&M has not finished higher than fourth in the Southeastern Conference West Division standings. 

Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports
Sumlin and Johnny Manziel had the Aggies dreaming big, but on field results have waned in subsequent seasons.

Sumlin was 24-3 in August and September, but 16-13 in November and bowl games. The late season fades wore on Aggie fans and Texas A&M brass, and home losses to Mississippi State and Auburn this season seemed to seal the head coach's fate.

Aside from the late season losses, perhaps no issue dogged Sumlin more than an inability to develop quarterbacks after the departure of 2012 Heisman trophy winner Manziel. In the past four seasons, the Aggies have started seven quarterbacks, including four freshmen, a sophomore and and two transfers. Three of those quarterbacks, blue chips Kenny Hill, Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray, have since transferred to TCU, Houston and OU. The departures of Allen and Murray capped a 2015 season of drama and controversy at the position.

Sumlin made several changes to his staff over the years in an effort to duplicate his early success. After Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury left for the top job at Texas Tech following the 2013 season, Sumlin promoted Clarence McKinney to the offensive coordinator position. McKinney was replaced by Jake Spavital, who was later replaced by Noel Mazzone.

Sumlin replaced Defensive Coordinator Mark Snyder with John Chavis after the 2014 season. He also fired offensive line coach B.J. Anderson, replacing him with Dave Christensen, who after a single season was replaced by Jim Turner. Seeking a solution to the typical late-season fades, last year he fired Strength & Conditioning coach Larry Jackson and hired Mark Hocke.

Sumlin was 24-3 in August and September, but 16-13 in November and bowl games. The late season fades wore on Aggie fans and Texas A&M brass, and home losses to Mississippi State and Auburn this season seemed to seal the head coach's fate.

Sumlin’s tenure was also marked by off-field turmoil. Only months after winning the Heisman, Manziel was suspended for the first half of the 2013 season opener against Rice amid accusations he’d violated NCAA rules by accepting money to sign autographs. Manziel was just one of eight players who were suspended for all or part of that game.

Other issues with player behavior followed, including the sometimes confusing handling of Oregon transfer Kirk Merritt, who was accussed of exposing himself to athletic department tutors. Merritt was ultimately dismissed from the program.

Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward is expected to move swiftly in hiring a new head football coach, and he indicated he would do so quietly. TexAgs' Billy Liucci has indicated he expects the Aggies to have a new head coach within about a week.

“My job is to hire the person who is the right fit to lead our football program,” Woodward said. “Obviously, our search will be quiet so the next time you’ll hear from me is when I’m introducing the new head football coach.”

The job should attract interest from a number of highly regarded coaches given Texas A&M's resources, its posiition as the only SEC school in Texas and proximity to a recruiting hotbed. A&M recently spent nearly $500 million to renovate Kyle Field, and the football facilities are considered to be among the best in the country. Woodward hired Chris Peterson at the University of Washington and is known to have a longstanding relationship with Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher, dating to their days at LSU during Nick Saban's tenure.


Much more to come for TexAgs Premium subscribers.

Discussion from...

Texas A&M fires Kevin Sumlin after six seasons as Aggies head coach

331,437 Views | 44 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by Mjesse
texag86
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Detective Jake Peralta
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AG
Sorry it had to end this way, but it was time. Best of luck, coach
impavidus
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AG
Thanks, Kevin.
agnatgas
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Sorry Coach. Best of luck.
swc93
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AG
Good luck at your next gig.
Olsen
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AG
Thank you for your 6 years of contributions here Coach Sumlin! I wish you and your family all the best in future endeavors!
Mr. Black
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Best of luck, Coach Sumlin.
TCSD84
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Time to move on. Good luck.
gocobra
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AG
Good luck on your next gig Coach.

Needed to happen. Best for all concerned.

Now lets get this ship in order and win some championships!

Whoop!
Blanco Ag
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AG
Best of luck
Sex Panther
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AG
Best of luck in your future endeavors Coach
Spinnaker96
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See ya, Kev! Good luck at ASU, maybe we'll see ya in a bowl someday...
5aggiesNSA
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All the best to you coach!
Trooper1016
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Thanks Kev
mcag83
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AG
Best wishes for his future job.
Lonestar1
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AG
And here we go...

Should be interesting
spud1910
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AG
Thanks Coach. Best wishes to you and your family.
QCAg93
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AG
Good luck Sumlin! He should be regarded as the right hire at the time. High expectations and money invested are overwhelming for any coach at this level.
Bobaloo
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Many thanks for the effort. You did your best. Nothing but best wishes to you and your family.
technoviking
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AG
Good luck. Thank you for the memories.
RGLAG85
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AG
Thank you coach Sumlin!
SEC Champs
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AG
Farewell, coach! Thank you for the Johnny Football years, the recruits, the Swagcopter, and the Adidas commercials. It was fun, but it's time for a change.

Best of luck in the PAC-12 or wherever life takes you.
datrixstunna
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AG
Yes! It's about time.
Eddie Vedder
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Thank you for representing our school honorably. All the best to you Coach Sumlin and family!
C Loves L
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Lots of exciting times while you coached here. Thank you for all the hard work and time you put into the program and our boys

Best of luck, I'll be cheering for you to win
Emilio Fantastico
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AG
Olin's article seemed to be a compilation of things said on here over and over again.
aggiebq03+
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Thanks for the 2012 season
SirArthur
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AG
Wish you and your family future success. For A&M, this change was overdue.
Looking forward: Please bring us a coach that will progressively and successfully build our team.
ronag91
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AG
Thx KDS and good luck.
Augenesburg
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Very sorry that it has not been better for us all. I will miss coach Sumlin. He is an excellent couch. I wanted to see us do so much better than we did. I know couch Sumlin will fined a new spot some where very soon. Best wishes to you and your family.
always gig em
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AG
Thank for the memories coach. You made us/left us better than we were.

Wish you the best.
agpwr
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The Sumlin era was transformational for Aggie football. Not only did the Aggies achieve their first top 5 ranking in more than fifty plus years under KS, but Coach Sumlin also created a pipeline of top tier recruiting talent. The Aggies are better for having known Kevin Sumlin. Gig em Coach Sumlin and good luck!
AGPWR
Picadillo
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Good luck Coach to you and your family at your next stop. Sorry it didn't work out; better luck next time!
Aggie_Brad
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Coach Sumlin,
There were some really special times during your Aggie coaching era! Great memories of the 2012 season for sure are in the forefront! Also, you have really moved in a positive direction to position our young men toward future achievements as great Aggie leaders. That is something to be proud of and I think all of us Aggies will remember.

I look forward to the groundwork that you have laid for our football team to achieve greatness in the immediate future. Our cabinet is not bare. It is bursting at the seams with talent! You are welcome here anytime!
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