UA Hires Kevin Sumlin To Coach Football Program
The University of Arizona will formally introduce a new head football coach Tuesday. The new hire will try to put aside an embarrassing episode for the Wildcats football program.
Kevin Sumlin became available when he was let go after six seasons piloting the Texas A&M program. Sumlin was reportedly also in the mix for other jobs, including ASU’s before the Sun Devils hired Herm Edwards.
But it’s the man he replaces, Rich Rodriguez, who the school is hoping Wildcats fans will forget quickly. Rodriguez was fired Jan. 2 amid sexual harassment allegations and claims he ran a hostile workplace.
The 53-year-old Sumlin is known as an adept recruiter and inherits a talented roster that went 7-6 last season, led by breakout star quarterback Khalil Tate. In a statement, Sumlin said he was humbled and honored.
"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.” Sumlin said. “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.”
Interestingly enough, former UA head coach Rodriguez offered his congratulations and plans to stay in Tucson as his children finish school.
"I am sure he will have great success with the most remarkable group of student-athletes in the country.” Rodriguez said. “We have been incredibly blessed to be a part of the Wildcat family and Tucson Community for over six years and are fortunate that our children Rhett and Raquel are continuing their education at UofA. Welcome Coach Sumlin."