Kevin Sumlin, one of the brightest and most energetic coaches in the country, has been named the Texas A&M head football coach, Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne announced Saturday.
"It is with great pride that we announce Kevin Sumlin has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University," Byrne stated. "We began this search process a little over a week ago and spoke to many worthy and qualified candidates, but my decision, which was made in consultation with (Texas A&M) President (R. Bowen) Loftin, kept leading me to Kevin. We met this morning to finalize the offer. I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference. First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff."
Sumlin led the Houston Cougars to a school-record 12 wins in 2011 and the program's highest finish in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. He was recently named the 2011 Region 5 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association and is a finalist for the National Coach of the Years honors as well. The Cougars led the nation in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense this season, marking the second time in four years to accomplish that feat under Sumlin's direction.
"I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at Texas A&M University," Sumlin said. "Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football. Aggieland is a special place and I look forward to working with the young men in the football program and recruiting the type of players we need to be successful in the SEC."
"With that being said," Sumlin continued. "I can't thank the University of Houston enough for giving me a chance to become a head football coach. It is tough to leave a group of players who have worked so hard and have done things the right way in taking Cougar football to greater heights."
Overall, Sumlin is 35-17 at UH and for the third time in four years has the Cougars headed to a bowl game. In 2008, Sumlin's first year as a collegiate head coach, he led UH to an 8-5 mark and a victory over Air Force in the Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. It marked the school's first bowl victory since 1980.
He was a finalist for the 2009 Paul "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year when he led the Cougars to a Conference USA West Division crown and a final record of 10-4.
Despite losing his top two quarterbacks to injuries in the 2010 season, Sumlin led UH to a 5-7 mark just missing a bowl appearance.
Sumlin went to Houston from the University of Oklahoma where he served as co-offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator while working with tight ends and wide receivers during his five seasons in Norman. During his time at OU, the Sooners went to five straight bowl games with four of those being BCS appearances.
Sumlin is no stranger to Aggieland having served two seasons on the offensive staff with R.C. Slocum. Sumlin came to A&M in 2001 as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach working with receivers such as Terrence Murphy, Jamaar Taylor, Bethel Johnson, Greg Porter and Mickey Jones. After three games in 2002 with the Aggies averaging just 16 points per game, Sumlin was promoted to offensive coordinator and the Aggies averaged 33 points per game the rest of the season and knocked off the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, 30-26, at Kyle Field.
Sumlin was a four-year letterman at Purdue, and also made coaching stops at Purdue, Minnesota, Wyoming and Washington State.
Born in Brewton, Ala., he graduated from high school in Indianapolis, Ind., Sumlin and his wife, Charlene, have four children: daughters Courtney and Shelby, and sons Jackson and Joey.
Contract details, which are pending The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approval, were not available at this time and a Monday (Dec. 12) press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Hagner Auditorium in the Bright Football Complex.