Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin had an electrifying first season in College Station. His Aggies finished 11-2 in their inaugural SEC year, knocking off national champion Alabama, and his quarterback became the first freshman to win the Heisman.
Sumlin’s coaching success extends well beyond Texas A&M. Prior to the Aggies, Sumlin led Houston to a 35-17 record in his four-year tenure, finishing 2011 12-1.
Ultimately, he was destined for a higher profile job when the Aggies came calling, but no one anticipated 2012 becoming such a monumental success.
It was such a success that this past January, Sumlin signed a five-year extension worth $3.1 million. CBSSports reported three NFL teams pursued Sumlin as well as one major university.
San Antonio Express’ Brent Zwerneman reported today, via TexAgs, that both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Auburn Tigers offered Sumlin a head-coaching gig.
Sumlin reiterated to Zwerneman that he’s not ready to coach in the NFL, at least not right now.
“Maybe later — some time later,” Sumlin said. “But it won’t be anytime soon. My family likes living here and I like living here. Heck, we just got here. People ask me to respond to the (NFL talk), and I say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Because I remember what was being said at this time a year ago.”
Leaving Texas A&M
Sumlin has the best up-and-coming job in college football. With Texas A&M’s emergence, backed by the SEC brand, the Aggies are becoming a monster and are threatening to become a perennial national power.
The Aggies are recruiting lights out in 2014. In fact, they’re leading the country, according to 247Sports Composite Team Rankings.
Why would he even consider leaving Texas A&M for another college program? Now, you can’t discredit Auburn for extending an offer and trying to nab Sumlin, but there are only a handful of places Sumlin could go that would even be considered a smart move.
Sumlin has the best job in the SEC not named Alabama, Florida, Georgia or LSU, including an SEC monopoly on the state of Texas.
Harder to stay at the top
Sumlin alluded to coaches negatively recruiting against his success and the possibility of the NFL.
“I’m amazed in one year how people want to flip the situation we have here,” he said. “A year ago, we were a team moving into a league (the SEC) we didn’t know anything about — the toughest league in the country. We had a bunch of coaches from smaller schools, and we were going to run a gimmick offense, and they were telling guys that we were going to get killed.
“A year later, the recruiting pitch out there right now against us is, ‘You can’t play there, they’ve got good players. And their coach is going to the NFL.’ I think it’s funny either way.”
Sumlin’s sentiments alone are just a small reason why it’s so much harder to stay at the top rather than just getting to the top, which makes you admire what Nick Saban has accomplished with such parity in college football.
Future NFL prospects
If Sumlin rolls out another 11- or 12-win season, he’ll be faced with what all winning coaches face: NFL teams will come calling with yet more money.
If Chip Kelly has instant success in Philly, you can bet your boots that more NFL teams will make serious runs at Sumlin. The former Purdue linebacker is considered an offensive guru and one of the best offensive minds in football.
Sumlin is a college coach at heart with little known NFL ties, and for all intents and purposes Sumlin seems content at Texas A&M.
Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports