Texas A&M has selected Kevin Sumlin as its new football coach, school officials announced Saturday.
Sumlin posted a 12-1 record this season at Houston and a 35-17 record in four seasons at the school. He replaces Mike Sherman, who was fired after a 6-6 season and a 25-25 record in four seasons in College Station.
A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said school officials finalized a deal Saturday morning with Sumlin, a former A&M assistant coach under R.C. Slocum. Terms were not announced, and Sumlin will address the media for the first time as A&M's coach during a Monday news conference in College Station.
Sumlin was A&M's play-caller in 2002 when the Aggies defeated No. 1 Oklahoma 30-26 at Kyle Field with freshman quarterback Reggie McNeal leading the offense.
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Byrne said school officials "spoke to many worthy and qualified" candidates since Sherman's dismissal on Dec. 1, but the consensus was to hire Sumlin. Byrne said the decision was made in consultation with school President R. Bowen Loftin.
"I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference," Byrne said in a statement. "First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff."
In a statement, Sumlin said he was "very excited" about the opportunity to coach at A&M.
"Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football," Sumlin said. "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."
Several former A&M players, including former quarterback Bucky Richardson, praised the move to bring Sumlin back to College Station.
"Kevin's energy ... will give us a great lift as we enter a new era in the SEC," Richardson said. "He already has great Texas ties, and once our Aggie fans get to know Kevin, they are going to love him. He is a winner."
Sumlin also served as an assistant under Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops before leading Houston to two appearances in the last three Conference USA championship games. In a statement, Stoops said: "Kevin did a great job for us at Oklahoma and obviously did the same at Houston. He's still a close friend and we wish all the best for ... the Sumlin family."
Before landing on Sumlin as the Aggies' coach, Byrne reportedly approached Georgia coach Mark Richt and Boise State coach Chris Petersen, among others. But the offer went to Sumlin, who played at Purdue and has established a reputation as a strong recruiter who will field a prolific offense.
"The thing I remember most about coach Sumlin is the way he carried himself... always confident, but not cocky," former A&M quarterback Mark Farris said. "There's an energy and an aura when he walks into a room that says 'winner.' He's that rare guy who is a players' coach and still has the respect of every player on the roster. I'm really excited that he'll be the one leading the Aggies into the SEC."
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7750