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Billboards promoting new UA coach Kevin Sumlin spotted near Sun Devil Stadium, downtown Phoenix

Posted at 2:13 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-19 09:21:25-05

It hasn't been uncommon to see Kevin Sumlin's face in the Phoenix area in recent years -- but for the first time, his face is also appearing on billboards in the Valley, including right outside Sun Devil Stadium.

Sumlin was introduced as the Arizona Wildcats' new football coach Tuesday. Just one day later, billboards welcoming Sumlin to UA began to crop up around the Valley. ABC15 has learned that UA has purchased ad space on 20 digital billboards to promote Sumlin's hire, including one in downtown Phoenix and another in Tempe near Sun Devil Stadium.

Listen to our exclusive interview with Kevin Sumlin in our new Wildcat Country podcast on Apple iTunes and on Google Play.

Sumlin is no stranger to the Valley, as he brought a pair of 5-star Scottsdale high school athletes -- Desert Mountain's Kyle Allen and Saguaro's Christian Kirk -- to Texas A&M, where he coached from 2012-17. 

On Tuesday, Sumlin told ABC15 sports director Craig Fouhy that building and growing relationships with high school coaches in the Valley and throughout Arizona is one of his top priorities.

"Fortunately we've got some of those relationships already," he said. "We've got to continue to grow those. But it's not like we're strangers here in the state, and it's our job to really grow those relationships throughout the state and continue to have success, because we want our fan base, our students, all the coaches here to feel comfortable about coming to Tucson.

"We want to have a relationship with the high-school coaches in the state, to be here on campus, to be comfortable with us, to be the kind of place where a guy comes to get better."