Coach Kevin Sumlin and his prolific offense made Houston a power in Conference USA.
His next challenge will be trying to replicate that success in the Southeastern Conference, the country’s toughest football league, as Texas A&M’s new coach.
Sumlin was hired as the Aggies’ new coach Saturday, less than two weeks after Mike Sherman was fired following a disappointing 6-6 finish.
The Aggies (6-6) are scheduled to play Northwestern (6-6) in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston on Dec. 31, with A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter serving as interim coach.
It will be the Aggies’ last game as a Big 12 team before moving to the SEC next season.
“(We) spoke to many worthy and qualified candidates, but my decision, which was made in consultation with president (R. Bowen) Loftin, kept leading me to Kevin,” athletic director Bill Byrne said. “I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference. First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff.”
It will be his second stint at the school after working as an assistant under R.C. Slocum in 2001-02.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at Texas A&M University,” Sumlin said. “Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football.”