HOUSTON (CBS Houston) – For the second time in four years, Texas A&M’s national search for a football coach has ended 115 miles down the road in Houston.
This time sources are confirming to SportsRadio 610 that University of Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin will be named to replace Mike Sherman in the next 24 hours.
Sumlin, however, denied that he has taken or been offered the Texas A&M job after his Cougars were upset, 49-28, by Southern Miss during Saturday’s Conference USA Championship Game at Robertson Stadium. The No.6 Cougars (12-1) lost for the first time this season and blew any chance of making the school’s first BCS bowl after Saturday’s loss.
“That is not true,” Sumlin said when asked if he had agreed to take the Aggies job. “I said two weeks ago that I wasn’t going to talk to anybody period until after the football season.
“Many of the things that have written before have turned out to be false,” Sumlin continued in reference to speculation during the week that he had been offered the Arizona State job. “I’ve been consistent with that so there is nothing to it.”
Sumlin also said there was no chance he could be named the Aggies next coach within the next 24 hours.
“I haven’t said anything to anybody,” Sumlin said.
And while UH athletic director Mack Rhoades spoke glowingly about what Sumlin has done for the program and his desire to keep the fourth-year head coach around around he sounded at times like a man who knew he would be conducting a coaching search soon.
“I’m optimistic, but you control what you can control,” Rhoades said following the championship game. “I continue to say I would much rather have a coach that everybody wants than one that doesn’t.
“He’s done a terrific job. I like where our program is and we will continue to work at it.”
“We are going to move forward and keep working as hard as we’ve been working,” Rhoades also said. “This is a great place.”
Rhoades was asked if he would get together to talk with Sumlin up upgrading his current contract as both men said last week, and the athletic director did say the two would talk but didn’t give a time frame. That seems odd because with the attention Sumlin has received it would seem a meeting would be a priority either later Saturday or no later than Sunday.
Sources continued to confirm later Saturday that Sumlin is indeed the Aggies man.
Sumlin has been linked to both the Arizona State and A&M jobs this week, but ASU apparently pulled out Friday once it became obvious Sumlin was taking the Aggies job.
Four years ago, Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne conducted a national search to replace Dennis Franchione and returned with Sherman, who was the Houston Texans offensive coordinator at the time, within 72 hours.