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Kevin Sumlin named Arizona Wildcats' new head football coach

Kevin Sumlin named Arizona Wildcats' new head football coach
Posted at 1:08 PM, Jan 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-14 21:24:55-05

It's official: Kevin Sumlin is the Arizona Wildcats' new head football coach, the university announced Sunday.

The 53-year-old Sumlin served as the head coach at Texas A&M from 2012-17. He compiled a 51-26 record as the Aggies' head coach before being fired Nov. 26. 

Sumlin will be introduced during a press conference in Tucson at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: 3 reasons Wildcat fans should love the Kevin Sumlin hire

“I am humbled and honored to join the Arizona Family,” Sumlin said in a statement. “With a strong foundation already in place, we will work quickly to assemble an elite coaching staff and immediately begin the work of establishing our culture, recruiting future Wildcats, and connecting with Wildcats past and present.

"We will win championships. We will graduate our players and they will contribute to the University in many ways while they are here. We will represent Arizona with class and pride. I want to thank President Robbins and Dave Heeke for the opportunity to be a part of something special and I cannot wait to get started.”

College football insider Brett McMurphy reported Sumlin has agreed to a 5-year contract with Arizona. Sports Illustrated's Bruce Feldman reported Sumlin will retain UA defensive coordinator and interim head coach Marcel Yates, who coached under Sumlin at Texas A&M. Feldman also reported Sumlin will likely bring on Noel Mazzone, his former offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, to take on the same role at UA. Mazzone was ASU's offensive coordinator from 2010-11.

“This is a tremendous day for Arizona Football and I am thrilled to welcome Kevin to our family,” UA athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “(Sumlin) is a proven winner who will have an immediate impact on not only our football program, but also on our department and University.

"An accomplished coach and an excellent recruiter, Kevin shares our vision and values and fits with who we are and who we want to be. His commitment to academics and to community service are a testament to his character. I have no doubt that Kevin will bring an exciting brand of football to Tucson and that championships will follow.”

Sumlin was a linebacker at Purdue from 1983-86. He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Washington State in 1989, and he had assistant coaching jobs at Wyoming, Minnesota, Purdue, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. He served as co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma from 2006-07 before receiving his first head coaching opportunity at Houston in 2008. 

Sumlin was a two-time Conference USA Coach of the Year with the Cougars. He led Houston to a 12-1 record in 2011 before taking the head coaching job at Texas A&M. He was the SEC Coach of the Year during his first season at A&M when he led the Aggies to an 11-2 record.

Sumlin has experience recruiting top prospects in Arizona. He successfully recruited 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.

Sumlin replaces six-year UA head football coach Rich Rodriguez, who was fired last week amid sexual harassment allegations.

After Sumlin's hire was made official, Rodriguez posted a message on Twitter in which he congratulated Sumlin and said his son Rhett and daughter Raquel look forward to continuing their education at UA. Rhett is a quarterback at Arizona, and Raquel is a cheerleader at UA.

Reports surfaced Friday that Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo had been offered the Arizona head coaching position. But on Sunday morning, Niumatalolo announced he will remain at Navy.