Updated: Kevin Sumlin to be named Arizona Wildcats head coach, per reports
Former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin will be named the next coach of the Arizona Wildcats, according to multiple reports.
Sumlin was fired from Texas A&M after six seasons in which he compiled a 51-26 record.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com first reported that Sumlin was headed to Arizona.
Hearing its official. Kevin Sumlin to Arizona. YESSIR!— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) January 14, 2018
Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports reported that same shortly after.
A source familiar with Arizona’s interviewing process had indicated Saturday that Sumlin was not in the running. However, that was before Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo – who had emerged as the leading candidate – removed himself from consideration Sunday morning.
Sumlin helped Johnny Manziel win the Heisman Trophy in 2012. Arizona has a supremely talented quarterback in Khalil Tate who would thrive in Sumlin’s system.
Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, who has been serving as the Wildcats’ interim coach, worked for Sumlin for two years at Texas A&M. So it’s possible Sumlin could keep Yates, who has been in Tucson for the past two years, on his staff.
Arizona fired Rich Rodriguez on Jan. 2 amid allegations that he created a hostile work environment and sexually harassed his former administrative assistant.
Rodriguez hired Yates in January 2016 and brought back former UA quarterback B.J. Denker as an analyst this past offseason. Denker had been at A&M under Sumlin and tweeted his approval Sunday afternoon:
YESSIR! It’s a great day to be a Wildcat! This team & this University just went to the next level! Welcome to the family Coach Sumlin. #BearDownhttps://t.co/pTrFUrUDQ8 — BJ Denker (@BJDenker) January 14, 2018
Sumlin, 53, previously served as the head coach at Houston, where he compiled a 35-17 record from 2008-11. The Cougars went 12-1 in his final season.
Sumlim led A&M to an 11-2 mark in in his first season, with Manziel becoming the first redshirt freshman to win the Heisman. The Aggies went 9-4 the next season but leveled off thereafter, losing five games each of the past four seasons. Texas A&M replaced Sumlin with Jimbo Fisher, who was lured away from Florida State with a 10-year, $75 million contract.
We’ll have more on this developing story throughout the day.