In his first season as Texas A&M's head coach, Kevin Sumlin has coached the Aggies to a 10-2 record, the No. 9 national ranking and a Cotton Bowl berth against OU.
What kind of coaching staff helped Sumlin stage such a remarkable success story in A&M's maiden season in the Southeastern Conference? Here are five questions that shed some light on the staff that OU will oppose in the Cotton Bowl.
Who will replace offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, the new head coach at Texas Tech, for the Cotton Bowl?
Running backs coach Clarence McKinney. Sumlin will hire a permanent replacement later. But for now, McKinney will coordinate the Aggie offense. Receivers coach David Beaty will coach the quarterbacks. McKinney was head coach at Houston Yates High School from 2005-07, then joined Sumlin's Houston U. staff.
What is the background of A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder?
Snyder grew up in Ironton, Ohio and went to Marshall University. Snyder coached at Central Florida for two seasons, then joined Jim Tressel's staff at Youngstown State. Snyder eventually spent 10 years with Tressel, the final four at Ohio State, including defensive coordinator in 2004.
Snyder became Marshall's head coach in 2005, and in five years went 22-37. Snyder spent the past two seasons as defensive coordinator at South Florida.
What two A&M staff members are sons of longtime NFL men?
Special teams coordinator Brian Polian is the son of former Colts general manager Bill Polian, and graduate assistant coach Klint Kubiak is the son of Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak.
Brian Polian, 38, was special teams coordinator at Stanford the previous two seasons and at Notre Dame the two years before that. He's also coached at Central Florida, Buffalo U.
Klint Kubiak is in his third year as an A&M graduate assistant. He played at Colorado State.
How many staff members followed Sumlin from the University of Houston?
Five. McKinney, offensive line coach B.J. Anderson, strength and conditioning coach Larry Jackson, associate athletic director Justin Moore and recruiting director Kenny Bell worked for Sumlin in Houston and followed him to A&M.
How much Southeastern Conference experience did Sumlin's staff have?
Very little, outside of defensive line coach Terry Price. Price coached at Ole Miss 1995-98 and 2009-11, and at Auburn 1999-08.