Senior College Football Columnist

Texas A&M steps up for Kevin Sumlin

Texas A&M makes sure to lock up one of the hottest coaches in the country in Kevin Sumlin. (US Presswire)

After leading Texas A&M to an 11-2 season in its debut year in the SEC, head coach Kevin Sumlin is getting a sweeter deal.

The new five-year deal, which Sumlin has agreed in principle to, includes a salary increase pending an A&M Board of Regents meeting. It comes after the coach became a very hot commodity, according to a source.

CBSSports has learned the 48-year-old Sumlin was pursued by three NFL teams as well as one major university this past month. Before this new deal, Sumlin, who led the Aggies to a road victory over No. 1 Alabama and a top-five finish, was the lowest-paid head coach in the SEC.

The Aggies capped off a huge first season for Sumlin with a 41-13 romp over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl to give A&M its first top-five finish in 56 seasons. The Aggies hadn't finished in the top 10 in 18 years.

A big part of the Aggies' special season was QB Johnny Manziel becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Manziel returns to what is expected to be a preseason top-five team in 2013. In addition, Sumlin and his staff are putting together what recruiting analysts are calling a top-10 class. A&M is currently No. 8 in the 24/7 recruiting rankings.

Sumlin came to Texas A&M after a successful run as coach at the University of Houston, where he led the Cougars to a school-record 12 victories and the program's highest finish in the Bowl Championship Series standings in 2011. He is 46-19 in five seasons as a head coach.

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for and college football commentator for CBS Sports Network. He is a New York Times Bestselling author, who has written books including Swing Your Sword, Meat Market and Cane Mutiny. Prior to joining CBS, Feldman spent 17 years at ESPN.
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