Sumlin Talks About Tradition, History and Appreciation of A&M Football

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

As Kevin Sumlin walked into A&M's press conference announcing his hiring, his air of confidence was already pouring out.

Just minutes into the meeting, after all the greetings and the big smiles, Sumlin laid out his plan.

"I didn't come here to do anything but win and that's the way I've approached every place I've ever been," said Sumlin.

That includes his two year stint at Texas A&M in 2001 and 2002 where the offense averaged 33 points a game under his guidance.

"I have a real understanding and appreciation for the traditions and the history of Texas A&M," said Sumlin.

That includes the power of the 12th man and the Aggies' home field advantage.

"For seven years, I came into Kyle Field. For a couple of those years (while at A&M), I've been very proud of it. For five of those years (while with Oklahoma), I was scared to death coming in there," joked Sumlin.

Sumlin's connections to B/CS run deep even though he was only here a short time.

"I have a lot of personal relationships in the Bryan/College Station area. My oldest son was born here. It's a very special place to me from a traditional stand point but also a personal level," said Sumlin.

Sumlin is the first African-American head coach at Texas A&M, but he believes none of that matters.

"All I can say is that any success that I have will lead to the end of that even being a topic of discussion or even brought up. Honestly, that's something that I don't really talk about. The only time is gets brought up is by media. Players don't talk about it, parents don't talk about it during recruiting, and it's never come up in the discussions we've (Bill Byrne) had," said Sumlin.

When it comes to having success on the field, Sumlin credits his connections with the coaching greats he's been able to learn from.

"The two guys who have influenced me the most and probably I talk to the most as a head coach now are R.C. Slocum and Bob Stoops. The guys I've talked to about life, about how they've done things, how they present themselves, how to deal with adversity. It's easy to deal with success but it's a lot harder to deal with adversity and those guys have done that," said Sumlin.

Texas A&M's freshest face won't be wasting any time and has already hit the road to recruit as the Aggies give the 35-17 coach the reigns to their coveted football program.

Sumlin's contract is a 5 year deal with a base salary of two million a year.

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