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Kevin Sumlin introduced as University of Arizona's head football coach

UA introducing Kevin Sumlin as head coach
Posted at 5:10 AM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 19:25:59-05

New Arizona Football Coach Kevin Sumlin said during Tuesday press conference that he's convinced the team could and should reach the Rose Bowl. 

"I see great potential in this football program," said Sumlin.

It is that attitude that first attracted the attention of UA President Robert Robbins while the two were both working in Texas. 

"The thing I observed is he was good at all three phases of the game on the field, and most importantly he was great off the field," said Robbins.

Athletic Director Dave Heeke says Sumlin brings a new optimism to Tucson.

"We needed someone to inject, reinvigorate energy, reinvigorate this program, inject energy into this program again," said Heeke.

Sumlin says in addition to energizing fans he's committed to molding young men. 

"It's not all about football either. But there's a lot of lessons in football that are gonna help these guys in life," said Sumlin.

This is the 53-year-old's third head coaching job, and he is Arizona's first African American head football coach. 

Sumlin was 51-26 in six seasons with Texas A&M. He was fired after the Aggies finished the 2017 regular season 7-5.

He said, "I really believe that this is a special place. It's a great place to live; I was able to visit here a couple of times in the past, stay here a couple of days at a time and really liked it."

Sumlin's contract will include a buyout, which hasn't been finalized.  Heeke said those terms would be published once agreed to, but the buyout will come with required mitigation, which means a negotiation before a check is written.

Heeke says this is the new standard at the UA following the school's payment of more than $6 million to Rich Rod.