Former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is expected to be the Arizona Wildcats’ new head football coach, according to Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports.
Gil Brandt also reported the hiring.
Hearing its official. Kevin Sumlin to Arizona. YESSIR!— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 14, 2018
Sumlin, 53, will reportedly sign a five-year contract, according to Brett McMurphy. He is scheduled to receive a $10.1 million buyout from Texas A&M later this month.
Arizona was also linked to candidates like Ken Niumatalolo, Beau Baldwin, Neal Brown, Jedd Fisch and Mike Sanford throughout the search process. UA defensive coordinator Marcel Yates was thought to be in the mix as well.
Sumlin was fired by the Aggies on Nov. 26 after they finished the season 7-5. The 53-year-old posted a 51-26 record in College Station before being dismissed.
Sumlin won at least seven games in each of his six seasons at A&M, including an 11-2 campaign in 2012 when he and Johnny Manziel led A&M to the Cotton Bowl. Sumlin was SEC Coach of the Year that season.
Before heading to Texas A&M, Sumlin posted a 35-17 record at Houston.
Why does Sumlin make sense for Arizona?
- He has thrived in a Power-Five conference before.
- He has recruited Arizona well, landing former five-star recruits Kyle Allen and Christian Kirk, and has plenty of experience recruiting in Texas and the West Coast, two of UA’s most prominent recruiting regions.
- Sumlin has had success with mobile quarterbacks like Khalil Tate before — he coached Johnny Football, after all.
- Yates was Sumlin’s defensive coordinator at Texas A&M at one point, which means Arizona might be able to keep its defensive staff intact — a staff that UA’s players clearly like.