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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Sumlin still the head football coach at Texas A&M

Despite+speculation%2C+Kevin+Sumlin+remains+head+coach+after+the+loss+to+LSU.
Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Despite speculation, Kevin Sumlin remains head coach after the loss to LSU.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Despite a 45-21 loss to LSU in Death Valley, Texas A&M has not announced its plans regarding the potential release of head coach Kevin Sumlin.
In the days leading to the Saturday night matchup, rumors and speculation grew as to what would transpire following the conclusion of the game.
In a report by the Houston Chronicle, Sumlin was set to be fired at the end of the game regardless of the outcome.
However, as the game came and went, there was no official announcement that Sumlin was relieved of his duties following the game. The post-game press conference was conducted the same as in the past weeks with Sumlin closing out the questions asked by reporters.
“Don’t know anything, it’s just business as usual for me,” Sumlin said. “I don’t have anything scheduled, it’ll probably change here in the next couple of minutes or whatever.”
According to Sumlin, everything will remain normal and on track to prepare for the final recruiting push throughout the allotted NCAA contact period for recruits.
“As of right now, tomorrow our contact period [for recruiting] we had a meeting Wednesday before Thanksgiving, an organizational recruiting meeting and home visits are set,” Sumlin said.
With the growing scrutiny from fans, donors and others around the college football world, Sumlin said he wouldn’t be in the profession that he’s in if he wasn’t confident in his abilities as a coach.
“I always think I should be retained,” Sumlin said. “I wouldn’t do this job, because I know what goes into it, I know how hard these guys work and a lot of things that don’t work out the way you plan them. I wouldn’t do this job if I didn’t think that I wouldn’t be retained. I wouldn’t do it, I wouldn’t coach football. So, in my mind I do my job as best as I can.”
Since the Aggies first joined the SEC in 2012, A&M has perpetually gone down in production and has come to a standstill the last couple of seasons. Sumlin said these were all factors that were inadvertently placed during the 2012 campaign with Johnny Manziel.
“Every year is different, I think the way we established the standard, kind of came on the scene right off the bat,” Sumlin said. “Because of that, you look at trends… and our trend is that we’ve flattened out from a win standpoint, based on having the best player in the country… in the first couple of years.”
However, Sumlin said despite all the growing pains throughout the years he has been able to see a lot of good and is thankful to have seen it all happen first hand.
“No matter who you are, what you do, you’re able to live with yourself if you leave something better than what it was when you first got there,” Sumlin said. “To be able to move into a new league and arguably the toughest division in the toughest league in the country and never have a losing season, watch the renovation of Kyle Field, watch the change of culture, and really a national brand. The things that may or may not have been there before I got there, you go to sleep knowing that things are in a better place than they were when we got here six years ago.”
As the Aggies prepared for LSU with the whirlwind of rumors and information regarding Sumlin’s future, redshirt junior, 12th Man and special teams captain Cullen Gillaspia said although the players saw the speculation on social media, they tried to remain focused on the task at hand.
“We treated it just like a normal practice,” Gillaspia said.  “We prepared for LSU like we would any other team we played this year. At the end of the day, like we’ve said all year, it’s about us not about what we hear about on the outside, we’re here to have fun and play a football game, like we always do.
“We try to not let it affect us but we’re going to go out there and play with a chip on our shoulders. We love our coach and we’re playing for him every single down… We’re not blind, we’re not oblivious to what we hear outside. We all have twitter, we all have Facebook, Instagram, so we see things, but again that’s not something that’s on our minds. We’re out there to play, we’re out there to play for our coach.”
Gillaspia said he thanked Sumlin for giving him the opportunity to play as a walk on and even more so for the other opportunities he’s been given.
“I came here as a walk on, spent two years on the scout team, I can’t thank him enough, he gave me the opportunity to play, wear No. 12 and represent this university in the best way that I could and as well as give me a scholarship. I can’t ask for anymore from a coach,” Gillaspia said. “He’s my head coach and he will be my head coach for the rest of my time at Texas A&M. I thank him from the bottom of my heart to give me the opportunity to come out here and show that I can play with the rest of this league.”
Standout junior wide receiver Christian Kirk said although it has been a roller coaster ride with Sumlin the last few seasons, he was grateful to have him as a coach.
“There’s a lot of ups and downs, but he gave me an opportunity of a life time, gave everyone else on this team an opportunity of a life time,” Kirk said. “I wouldn’t trade what’s happened in these three years for anything else, it’s been so much fun and I really hope he can continue coaching here.”

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