University of Houston Director of Athletics Dave Maggard announced on Friday that Kevin Sumlin was hired as the Cougar football head coach. Sumlin becomes the 11th head coach in UH history, but more importantly, he becomes the first African-American to lead the prestigious Cougar Program.
³As I spoke with people around the country about Kevin, he is very highly regarded by his peers, by head coaches, by assistant coaches and by athletic directors,² said Maggard. ³He has been in programs that have been very strong programs (and in) programs where success has taken place and have continued the success. He has a great deal of success in recruiting, and he has been recruiting the Houston area for a number of years during the time he was at Texas A&M and the University of Oklahoma.
³He¹s a man of strong character. He will set expectations for the players, and yet at the same time, the players have enormous respect for him. And it goes both ways. He has respect for the players, and they have respect for him.
³I felt the need to have someone that will set high expectations with us
(and) will meet the high expectations we have here at the University of Houston. The vision here for us is to reclaim our position in the national picture. In my conversations with Kevin, he feels that¹s more than possible.
His goals will be consistent with those of ours in terms of moving this program up beyond where it is at this current time.²
Sumlin is the first African-American to be hired to lead a Division I-Football Bowl Subdivision program in the state of Texas. Former North Texas head coach Matt Simon was first hired in 1993 when the UNT program was a Division I-Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) school, later moving up a division and coaching the North Texas program from
1994-97 as a member of the Division I-FBS.
³This is a great University and a great city,² said Sumlin. ³This is a place that has won conference championship in recent years, and we want to continue down that path and play for a conference championship every season.
This is Dave Maggard¹s vision, and I share the same vision.
³I bring both energy and excitement to the program, as well as an aggressive style of offense and defense. It will be a style that the players will want to play and a style that our fans will like to watch.
³What excited me (about coming to Houston) was a chance to play for a championship every year.²
The 43-year-old Sumlin arrives on Cullen Boulevard after spending the past five seasons at the University of Oklahoma, where he has served as both the co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (2006-07) and special teams coordinator/tight end coach (2003-05).
In 2007, the OU receivers recorded 19 touchdowns while Malcolm Kelly and Juaquin Iglesias provided one of the best 1-2 receiving punches in the nation, ranking fifth and sixth in the OU records book for receiving yards in a season. While coordinator of the Sooner special teams, Sumlin saw his units place 10th nationally in net punting, while true freshman Reggie Smith led the team with a 20.9-yard punt return average in 2005.
Prior to his arrival in Norman, Sumlin spent two seasons at Texas A&M University, where he served as the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. During the 2002 campaign, Sumlin was thrust into the offensive coordinator role, and the Aggies averaged 33.0 points per game after posting just 16.0 ppg before he took control.
Sumlin also has stops at his alma mater, Purdue, (1998-2001), Minnesota
(1993-97) and Wyoming (1991-92). He began his career as a graduate assistant at Washington State, first for Dennis Erickson (1988) and then Mike Price (1989-90).
Sumlin has coached in nine bowl games, including five at Oklahoma (2008 Fiesta, 2007 Fiesta, 2005 Holiday, 2005 Orange, 2004 Sugar), one at Texas A&M (2002 GalleryFurniture.com) and three with Purdue (2002 Rose, 2000 Outback, 1998 Alamo.)
A four-year letterman as a linebacker at Purdue (1983-86), Sumlin ended his career among the top 10 in tackles for the Boilermakers. He was named to Sports Illustrated¹s All-America walk-on list as a freshman after leading Purdue with 91 tackles.
Sumlin was twice named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten while leading Purdue in tackles as both a junior and senior. He helped lead the Boilermakers to the
1984 Peach Bowl.
The Indianapolis, Ind., native graduated from Purdue in 1986 with a bachelor¹s degree in both criminology and liberal arts. Sumlin and his wife Charlene have four children: daughters Courtney and Shelby, and sons Jackson and J.R.