The SEC coaching carousel is spinning faster than it ever has before, and another big-time opening has now become available in College Station, Texas.
Texas A&M fired coach Kevin Sumlin on Sunday, one day after completing a 7-5 regular season concluded with an embarrassing 45-21 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Saturday night.
"Kevin's tenure included some remarkable achievements and he leaves our program as one of the winningest football coaches in our storied history," said athletic director Scott Woodward in a statement. "Kevin made us a better all-around football program and led our program with dignity and character. He's a first-class person."
"Our expectations at A&M are very high. We believe that we should compete for SEC championships on an annual basis and, at times, national championships. I believe that we need a new coach to take us there. On behalf of Aggies everywhere, my thanks to Kevin and his family for his service to Texas A&M. I wish him the very best."
Sumlin went 51-26 in his six seasons in College Station, but his 25-23 conference record couldn't cut it after the school invested heavily in both Sumlin and the program following its move to the SEC. He is the first Texas A&M coach to be fired without finishing .500 or worse in a single season since 1929.
Aside from an 11-2 record during the 2012 season -- Sumlin's first with the program, which coincided with the Aggies joining the SEC and quarterback Johnny Manziel's Heisman Trophy run -- the team has been remarkably average under Sumlin. Texas A&M didn't finish over .500 in the SEC over the last five seasons, went 8-5 for three seasons from 2013-15 and never found the consistency that is expected from a program that expects more than anonymity -- even in the SEC West.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher will be Texas A&M's primary target, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle. If Fisher decides to stay in Tallahassee or go somewhere else, SMU coach Chad Morris, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen could be viable options for a program that showed the willingness to spend money when it locked Sumlin down to a $5 million per year contract following the 2013 season.
As for Sumlin's next step, a source close to Sumlin told CBS Sports that he's still weighing his options on whether to jump immediately to another job or take some time off with his family before getting back to the day-in, day-out grind of college football. Billy Liucci of TexAgs.com reported earlier Sunday that Arizona State might be a good landing spot for him if he decides to jump back in to the fray immediately. Arizona State fired Todd Graham Sunday.
Texas A&M announced in its release that it will honor the terms of Sumlin's contract. Special teams coach Jeff Banks will serve as the interim head coach for the Aggies.
Kevin Sumlin is out at Texas A&M, but who's in? For the latest on A&M's search for a new head coach, plus all the recruit reaction you can handle, check out Gigem247, a leading 247Sports site. They've been covering the Aggies for years and are on the ground with the latest breaking news, notes, and rumors. Visit now!