Kevin Sumlin A Candidate At Illinois?

The Fighting Illini football team is searching for a new head football coach. One of the early favorites appears to be Houston head man Kevin Sumlin. InsideIllini presents a review of Sumlin's background and whether he fits the Illinois situation in the first of a series of profiles on possible candidates.

Just win, win, win!

That's a song, but that's also what one college coach is doing on a very big level.

Houston Head Football Coach Kevin Sumlin has his Cougars poised for a BCS Bowl if they can win the Conference USA Championship this upcoming weekend against Southern Mississippi.

Sumlin's is one of the top names that has emerged for several college coaching openings, including the recent one at the University of Illinois.

Sumlin's Cougars are currently undefeated at 12-0 in his fourth season as the head coach at Houston. He is 35-16 in four seasons. The Cougars have been bowling three out of the four seasons.

With a reputation for engineering high-powered offenses and considered one of the country's top recruiters, Sumlin brought with him a wealth of collegiate coaching experience and a penchant for innovative ideas and styles.

Sumlin spent the previous five seasons at the University of Oklahoma, where he served as both the co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (2006-07) and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach (2003-05).

In 2007, OU receivers recorded 19 touchdowns, while Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias provided one of the best 1-2 receiving punches in the nation, ranking fifth and sixth in the OU record book for receiving yards in a season.

Offensively, the Sooners finished fifth in the nation in scoring offense at 42.3 points per game while ranking 19th nationally in total offense, averaging 448.9 yards per game.

His current quarterback at Houston Case Keenum is garnering Heisman consideration for offensive accomplishments.

The Indianapolis native graduated from Purdue in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in both criminology and criminal justice. Sumlin and his wife Charlene have four children: daughters Courtney and Shelby, and sons Jackson and Joe.

A four-year letterman as a linebacker at Purdue (1983-86), Sumlin still ranks among the top 10 in career tackles for the Boilermakers. He was named to Sports Illustrated's All-America walk-on list as a freshman after leading Purdue with 91 tackles.

He was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten in 1984 and helped the team reach the Peach Bowl. Sumlin also earned Honorable Mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior, ranking No. 5 in the league with 114 tackles.

WHY HE WOULD BE A GREAT HIRE AT ILLINOIS: A proven offensive mind who has a Midwest background. Known for being a great recruiter and has recruited the Midwest for multiple years.

WHY ILLINOIS MAY HAVE TROUBLE HIRING HIM: Sumlin as become one of the hottest coaches in the country. Illinois will have to battle several other top schools for this services.

Stay tuned to InsideIlini for more coaching profiles of top candidates for the Illinois head football coaching vacancy.

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