Kevin Sumlin’s tumultuous tenure at Texas A&M has come to a close.
Texas A&M officially fired Kevin Sumlin on Sunday afternoon. The school issued an official release on the decision.
“Kevin’s tenure included some remarkable achievements and he leaves our program as one of the winningest football coaches in our storied history,” Texas A&M AD Scott Woodward said via release. “Kevin made us a better all-around football program and led our program with dignity and character. He’s a first-class person.
“Our expectations at A&M are very high. We believe that we should compete for SEC championships on an annual basis and, at times, national championships. I believe that we need a new coach to take us there. On behalf of Aggies everywhere, my thanks to Kevin and his family for his service to Texas A&M. I wish him the very best.”
Sumlin finished the season with a 7-5 record and a 4-4 mark in SEC play, but that was not good enough to save his job in College Station.
Sumlin’s fate may have been sealed with a Week 1 loss at UCLA, during which the Aggies blew a 34-point second-half lead in what turned into a national embarrassment on prime-time television, but he survived the entirety of the 2017 regular season. The Aggies went on to win their next four games, including conference games against Arkansas and South Carolina, before dropping a game to Alabama, 27-19, in front of a home crowd at Kyle Field.
The Aggies rebounded with a win in The Swamp against Florida, but back-to-back home conference losses to Mississippi State and Auburn dropped the Aggies to just 5-4 on the season.
Sumlin, 53, became the fourth SEC football coach to lose his job during the 2017 season. Former Florida coach Jim McElwain parted ways with the Gators following a Week 9 loss to Georgia, Tennessee coach Butch Jones was fired after a loss to Missouri and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema was fired after losing to Missouri on Friday.
Sumlin, who was in his sixth season as the Aggies coach, amassed a 51-26 record during his time in College Station. But he failed in the objective of conquering Nick Saban to win the SEC West.
Sumlin’s best conference finish — a tie for second in the SEC West — was achieved during his debut 11-2 season in 2012. It seemed as though Sumlin chased the success of that season, which was aided by a young quarterback named Johnny Manziel, for the rest of his tenure. The Aggies finished no better than fourth in the SEC West for the next four years.
Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward hinted at the potential for this outcome back in May during an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show.
“Coach [Sumlin] knows he has to win,” Woodward said. “And he has to win this year.”
Prior to coaching at Texas A&M, Sumlin ran up a 35-17 record during a four-year stint at Houston. He led the Cougars to a 12-1 record in 2011 before accepting the job at Texas A&M.
Kevin Sumlin: Season-by-season results at Texas A&M
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