Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M agreed to a contract extension that will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in college, but the Houston Chronicle reports that Sumlin still has yet to sign that new deal. This could be a formality as legal technicalities are sorted out, or it could be because the Houston Texans and Sumlin have mutual interest in the Aggies head man being Gary Kubiak‘s replacement.
Sumlin has had two successful seasons in College Station. Although his team’s 8-4 record in 2013 may have taken the shine off his diamond in some circles, he still remains a wildcard for the Texans job. Despite Texans owner Bob McNair proclaiming his preference to hire a coach with both NFL experience and NFL head coaching experience, Sumlin would give the team a spark over the retread candidates linked to the job.
The Dallas Morning News reports Lovie Smith, Ken Whisenhunt and possibly Mike Shanahan would be candidates the Texans bring in for interviews, but will any of them move the needle quite like the youthful and engaging Sumlin?
Each of these aforementioned candidates has had their share of success in the NFL as each has coached in Super Bowls, but Sumlin could be the guy that forces McNair to break from his criteria. As CBSSports.com reported, McNair has a “high affinity” for Sumlin, who has ties to Houston. Texans GM Rick Smith and Sumlin have a friendship after they both played at Purdue (albeit at different times) and that personal relationship could prove to be fruitful on the business end.
Sumlin may appear to be a wildcard or dark horse candidate at this point, but with him delaying the signing of his new deal, it will be difficult to ignore the whispers from Houston.
If you’re a Texans fan and you hear the names Smith, Whisenhunt and Shanahan bandied about as candidates, and then hear Sumlin’s name linked to the job, who would you prefer leading the team back to the playoffs?
I’d hire Sumlin over each of those guys every day of the week, and with the success Chip Kelly is having with the Philadelphia Eagles after having zero NFL experience after leaving Oregon, McNair and the Texans should pull the trigger on Sumlin immediately.