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Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin tests positive for COVID-19, will lead team ‘on a virtual basis’ until he completes isolation protocol

arizona-wildcats-kevin-sumlin-inteview-scrimmage-football-preseason-injuries-brightwell-gunnell-2020 Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats begin practice Friday, but will do so without their head coach in attendance. The school announced Monday that Kevin Sumlin tested posted for COVID-19 and has entered self-isolation, though he isn’t currently experiencing any symptoms.

Isolation protocol can typically last anywhere from 10 to 14 days.

The school says that contract tracing revealed that the test result is not related to any team activities and no close contacts were identified within the football program.

“My family and I have been aggressive in our efforts to remain safe and healthy throughout the past seven months,” Sumlin said in a statement. “My positive test result, while a shock, is a stark reminder of how we must all remain vigilant in our focus on hand washing, physical distancing and face coverings.

“I am feeling well and will be engaged in our ramp-up activities on a virtual basis until I complete the isolation protocol. I look forward to being back on field in time to begin preparing for the season. We are all grateful to Dr. Stephen Paul and his entire football medical team who work hard day-in and day-out to ensure our student-athletes and staff are safe and healthy.”

In case Sumlin has to miss extended time, it’s worth noting that Arizona defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads has plenty of head coaching experience. He led the Iowa State Cyclones for seven seasons, posting a 32-55 record.