Kevin Sumlin is headed to the Old Pueblo -- and by most accounts, Arizona Wildcats fans and players are pretty happy about that.
Sumlin, the former Texas A&M and Houston head coach, agreed to a reported 5-year contract to become UA's new head football coach Sunday. Here are three reasons why Wildcat fans are right to be excited about the hire.
1. He's won a few games
Let's start with the obvious: Kevin Sumlin has won a lot of games as a college football coach. He went 35-17 during his four seasons in Houston and 51-26 during his six years at Texas A&M.
Yes, Sumlin was fired from A&M after going 7-5 in 2017 -- but that was his worst mark in his six years there. Plus, winning 7-8 games per season in the SEC, which has produced nine of the last 12 national champions, isn't too shabby.
The Pac-12 has some talented players and coaches, but it isn't the SEC -- and with the talent returning to Tucson next season, Sumlin has a real chance to surpass that 7-8-win total in 2018.
2. He can recruit -- including in Arizona
With the aid of a new indoor practice facility that's coming to UA later this year, Sumlin just might be able to bring some top-tier talent to Tucson -- something his predecessor, Rich Rodriguez, was unable to do on a regular basis.
All six of Sumlin's recruiting classes at Texas A&M were in the top 20 nationally, and two were in the top 10. Additionally, Sumlin has a track record of recruiting top talent in Arizona. He brought a pair of 5-star Valley athletes -- Scottsdale Desert Mountain quarterback Kyle Allen and Scottsdale Saguaro High School wide receiver Christian Kirk -- to Texas A&M.
No, luring 4- and 5-star athletes to Tucson won't be as easy as selling them on an SEC school in Texas -- but of all the coaches on the market, Sumlin probably has the greatest chance to boost the Wildcats' recruiting profile.
3. He's coached some pretty good quarterbacks
Sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate went from second-stringer in September to darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidate in November for the Wildcats. He set a single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback, became the first player in conference history to win Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors four weeks in a row, and he figures to only be better in 2018.
Well, Sumlin coached a guy who went on to win the Heisman: Johnny Manziel, who won the award in 2012. While he was at Houston, Sumlin coached Vikings quarterback (and possible Cardinals target) Case Keenum, who went on to set an NCAA record for most career passing yards.
Tate is a true dual-threat quarterback: He can run the ball as well as any active college football QB, but he's also an accurate thrower. Sumlin could be the perfect guy to get the most out of Tate next season.