2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Kevin Sumlin
Candidate Tier: Stretch
Who Is He?
The most handsome man in Texas. Kevin Sumlin is the head coach of Texas A&M, the former head coach of Houston and a former Purdue coach and grad.
Sumlin took the coaching world by storm when he elevated Houston to national prominence from ‘08-‘11, ultimately being offered one of the best head coaching jobs in college football at A&M. The Aggies quickly moved to the SEC where Sumlin continued to just get better. He landed Johnny Manziel before Manziel imploded as a human and nearly won his division in the first year A&M dealt with the big, bad SEC.
With improved results come increased expectations, of course, and A&M has not been able to stay in the national title picture in recent seasons. Sumlin still wins a boatload of games but that’s often not enough in Texas or the SEC, so there have been ongoing murmurs about his job being in jeopardy.
Sumlin is 76-33 as a head coach and 41-16 at Texas A&M. I would hug him uncomfortably tight if he were fired and found his way to West Lafayette.
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
Sumlin coached at Purdue under Joe Tiller and was our very own Boilerdowd’s top choice for Tiller’s successor. When Hope was named, I distinctly remember B-dowd saying “I’m already thinking about the next coach.” Purdue might even have been able to get him away from Houston, but they – as usual – didn’t move when they should have and missed a tremendous opportunity. Sumlin knows the Big Ten enough and how to motivate players to their maximum ability. Plus he has the cachet and name recognition to help bring in recruits. His success has been noticed and would pay dividends in West Lafayette.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
Can he recruit in less fertile ground? Or can he use his Texas connections to get some lone star state prospects to West Lafayette? This seems like a tall order. He also wouldn’t have the same resources as he has at A&M, but let’s not forget that he succeeded at Houston so maybe that’s not as much of an issue. Honestly, I’m grasping for reasons he wouldn’t succeed here because he totally would.
Would he come to Purdue?
One of the most possible “reaches” due to his history at Purdue. I would think this would at least mean he’d take the phone call if he were in the market for a job. Of course, he makes $5 million a year at A&M so if he wants the same or an increase, it just won’t happen. But I’d pony up a few bucks if it made the difference. Still a long shot.