As CultureMap reported Wednesday
Smoke & contracts: Kevin Sumlin finally set to be announced as new Texas A&Mcoach; Mark Richt never an option
Texas A&M and Kevin Sumlin are finally ready to stop pretending and make their union official. Sumlin will be announced as the football coach who will lead the Aggies into the SEC.
CultureMap was first to report that Sumlin was set to become the new coach at Texas A&M on Wednesday with contract details needing to be finalized before an official announcement could be made. Now those details are done and Sumlin will be introduced in College Station.
The announcement press conference is expected to take place Sunday or Monday.
Even after he knew he was on the verge of replacing Mike Sherman at Texas A&M, Sumlin held a team meeting with his University of Houston players, ran a practice and attended Houston's joining the Big East press conference party. All without mentioning his impending departure. Instead, Sumlin deflected questions about it with general platitudes about how much he liked Houston.
Sumlin turned down Illinois — which made a last-minute push to snare the offensive innovator as its new coach — on Wednesday. From that point on, Texas A&M was the only school in the picture.
Sumlin waited until Saturday to inform the University of Houston players he's leaving behind — and he didn't even tell them which school he was jumping ship to in his goodbye meeting.
Sumlin turned down Illinois — which made a last-minute push to snare the offensive innovator as its new coach — on Wednesday. From that point on, Texas A&M was the only school in the picture. And Sumlin was the only man for the Aggies.
During the contract negotiations, stories surfaced that Georgia coach Mark Richt had emerged as a candidate, with one even saying Richt had turned down the job. But that courtship turned out to be imaginary. Richt (who is already at a better SEC school with a successful track record) released a statement on Saturday saying that he'd had not talked to any other schools about a job. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity also insists that Texas A&M never even asked for permission to speak to Richt, which is required.
Did Texas A&M officials float the Richt rumors to pressure Sumlin into accepting the contract terms the school wanted? It will be interesting to see how many years Sumlin's A&M contract runs.
For more, read the CultureMap column on how Kevin Sumlin hurt his reputation with the way he handled this job search.