From the start of the Arizona Wildcats football coaching search, former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made the most sense, checked the most boxes.
He has had success as a Power 5 conference head coach, going 51-26 in six years with the Aggies before being fired after last season.
He runs a style of offense that should be a fine fit for Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate, considering Sumlin coached Heisman-winning dual-threat quarterback Johnny Manziel.
He has strong recruiting ties in Texas and the Phoenix area, two areas in which Arizona needs to recruit well.
He has a previous working relationship at Texas A&M with UA defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, who is so popular with the Wildcats that many players campaigned on social media for him to be the new head coach. Yates is expected to stay on staff, according to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman.
He is a “name” coach who will immediately intrigue the Arizona fan base.
Arizona, after firing Rich Rodriguez on Jan. 2 after it was revealed the school hired an outside firm to conduct an investigation into alleged workplace misconduct and a change of sexual harassment by a former administrative assistant, is going to get its man.
Sumlin, 53, was announced Sunday night as Arizona’s new coach.
Arizona offensive analyst B.J. Denker, a former UA quarterback under Rich Rodriguez, was an offensive graduate assistant at Texas A&M in 2015 and 2016.
Sumlin has a career record of 86-43, including four seasons at Houston.
His first season at Texas A&M was 2012, when the Aggies took the SEC by storm in their first season after moving from the Big 12. Sumlin guided A&M to an 11-2 record, led by Manziel, who won the Heisman that season.
A&M went 9-4 a year later, then had three consecutive seasons of 8-5, with the Aggies often wilting in November. Texas A&M went 7-6 this season, including a bowl loss after Sumlin was fired.
Texas A&M owes him a buyout of $10.4 million, which will not be offset by his salary at Arizona.
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SOURCE: New #Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin will retain DC Marcel Yates (they worked together at A&M) as Cats defensive coordinator. Noel Mazzone is expected to be the new OC. RBs coach Clarence McKinney also is expected to join staff.