The Arizona football program just received a huge upgrade in the coaching ranks. The Air Raid is coming to Arizona. After canning gimmick coach Rich Rodriguez earlier this month, Arizona has replaced him with former Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. Rodriguez was fired because of his sexual assault scandal that is still ongoing the legal process. The program made the announcement Sunday night but the news was first reported by NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt.
— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) January 15, 2018
“This is a tremendous day for Arizona Football, and I am thrilled to welcome Kevin to our family,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement Sunday night. “He is a proven winner who will have an immediate impact on not only our football program but also on our department and University.
“An accomplished coach and an excellent recruiter, Kevin shares our vision and values and fits with who we are and who we want to be. His commitment to academics and to community service are a testament to his character. I have no doubt that Kevin will bring an exciting brand of football to Tucson and that championships will follow.”
Sumlin was fired in November after six years. Prior to his arrival, Sumlin was the man at the helm of the University of Houston and has posted a career coaching record of 86-43. Sumlin has done a great job with quarterbacks in the past including his work with Johnny Manziel and Case Keenum. The latter is actually the all-time leading passer in NCAA history and may never have been given a chance in the NFL without Sumlin.
Sumlin will inherit dual-threat quarterback Khalil Tate that will hopefully turn the wildcats into Pac 12 contenders from the jump. Tate threw for 1,591 yards and ran for 1,411 yards this past season. Sumlin’s former offensive coordinator with the Aggies, Noel Mazzone, will also head to Arizona with Sumlin. Ken Niumatalolo was also rumored to be a possible candidate for the Wildcats but he opted to stay with Navy.
Jimbo Fisher will be the man to replace Sumlin at Texas A&M. Fisher was well compensated with a very lucrative contract that will pay him $75 million over 10 years. Fisher left a decorated Florida State program to take his new job with the Aggies.