Oklahoma football: Kevin Sumlin talks coaching changes
For the Monday Oklahoman, I wrote about the coaching carousel’s disturbing effects on bowl season. You can read that column here.
I quoted Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, and Sumlin has an interesting perspective on the issue. In 2007, while on Bob Stoops’ OU staff, Sumlin took the Houston U. head coaching job. But he stayed on and helped coach the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl. Last December, Sumlin took the A&M job. He did not coach the Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl against Penn State.
“I have been through both scenarios,” Sumlin said. “People think a lot of times coaches leave on their own or take off and just abandon the kids. When I left Houston to come to Texas A&M, that was a mutual decision with the athletic director and myself. When I met with the team, I wanted to tell them I had accepted the job at Texas A&M, the mutual decision was that it was time to move on with an interim coach. It’s hard to be the coach at one institution and look at your team and coach that team where you are right now.
“The problem is that timing right now for other institutions is critical. The onus is put on coaches that they can’t move or change jobs, but the jobs are offered to you in December. But also you have a coach fired midway through the season, not for any conduct. There is nothing said about that for the kids. You go in and face the kids for the last five weeks of the season as a fired coach, there are some issues because the race to hire the next coach is on.
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