Texas A&M fires Sumlin, eyes FSU's Jimbo Fisher

Kevin Sumlin is out as Texas A&M's head football coach.

Now, all eyes are on Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, and the possibility the Seminoles could face their first hiring process for a football head coach in 41 years. 

Sumlin was fired Sunday afternoon by Texas A&M after six seasons and a 51-26 overall record in College Station, Texas.

The Aggies were pummeled 42-21 by LSU Saturday night, dropping them to 7-5 overall and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play. 

The Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Sumlin would be fired following Texas A&M’s regular-season finale against LSU, regardless of the game’s outcome.

The newspaper and other media outlets, including USA Today, have reported Fisher is the top candidate to become the Aggies' new coach. 

On Sunday afternoon, Houston television station KPRC (an NBC affiliate) Tweeted that  Texas A&M and Fisher have agreed to a deal for "at least fiver years at $7.5 annually." 

The post said Fisher would coach the Seminoles' regular-season finale Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe but not the bowl game if the team earns a berth. 

Fisher is in his eighth season as FSU's head coach, and the program's second since Bobby Bowden was hired 1976, Fisher was the Seminoles' coach-in-waiting for two seasons under Bowden, who was forced to resign after 34 years and two national titles in 2010.

Fisher and the Seminoles are coming off a 38-22 win over the Florida Gators Saturday in Gainesville. 

Fisher, as he has done in the past concerning coaching rumors, declined to address the speculation during his postgame news conference.  

"I ain't talking about jobs, I ain't getting into all of that,"  said Fisher, who last season was heavily connected to the opening at LSU, where he previously served as an offensive coordinator from 2000-06.

 "You know how I go about things."

The Seminoles (5-6) have won three of their last four and need one more victory Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe to become bowl eligible.

Fisher has led FSU to an 83-23 record with two Orange Bowl victories and the 2013 national championship since he replaced Bowden. 

Last December, Fisher signed a contract extension at FSU through the 2024 football season - with options for additional years - that pays him $5.5 million annually.

Fisher is among  the top-five highest-paid coaches in the country behind Alabama's Nick Saban ($11.1 million annually), Clemson's Dabo Swinney ($8.5 million), Michigan's Jim Harbaugh ($7 million), and Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($6.4 million), according to USA Today.

There is speculation on social media A&M could offer Fisher $7-$8 million annually.

If Fisher elected to leave FSU for Texas A&M, he would owe FSU around $7 million  -- the exact number is dependent on the job status of his assistants.

In December 2013, Sumlin signed a six-year, $30-million extension at Texas A&M that is fully guaranteed. According to ESPN, A&M must pay Sumlin a buyout of $11.1 million within 60 days following Sunday's dismissal.

Fisher connection to Texas A&M is with Aggies athletic director Scott Woodward. The two worked together in the early to mid-2000s at LSU,

Sumlin failed to produce a winning mark in the SEC since his first season in College Station in 2012, when quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and led the Aggies to an 11-2 mark and 6-2 record in the SEC.

Saturday's loss at LSU also dropped Sumlin’s record in SEC games played in November since that season to 4-10.

A&M is in the SEC West with Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas. The program has finished with double-digit wins just twice (2012 and 1998) in the last 20 years. 

Fisher, meanwhile, has owned the Sunshine State and has led FSU to three ACC Championships. 

FSU is 18-2 against teams from the state of Florida under Fisher.

The Seminoles have won 12 of their last 13 games against in-state opponents, including a school-record five in a row against Florida and four straight in Gainesville. 

They are 48-16 in the ACC under Fisher. 

In addition, Fisher set a modern day collegiate record by having 29 players drafted in a three-year span (2013-15), a group that included the school’s first-ever No. 1 overall pick in quarterback Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Bucs). 

Fisher also has continued to push for facility upgrades at FSU, saying earlier this season he believes the program has fallen behind in the facilities arms race. 

The athletics program has exploring a number been of different options to give the football program its own sport-specific facility on campus. FSU has built an indoor practice facility and players-only dorm and renovated the football offices and locker room since 2013. 

Texas A&M completed a $485 million renovation of Kyle Field in 2014 that included 100 flat screens in the locker room, plus a waterfall and barbershop.

The coaching carousel is spinning into overdrive as November comes to a close. 

The SEC currently has five head coaching vacancies, including Florida. 

According to ESPN, the SEC hasn’t had five football coaching changes since 1946,

The new early signing period could be another reason for the quick decisions involving coaches. Schools will be able to sign prospective recruits for 2018 starting Dec. 30, along with the traditional early February signing period. 

Sumlin's name has been linked to the Arizona State vacancy that became open Sunday morning.

Arizona State fired Todd Graham, who had a 46-31 record in six seasons at the school and was coming off Saturday night's 42-30 win over rival Arizona. 

Click here to read the story from the Tallahassee Democrat

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories