Kevin Sumlin 'The helicopter is undefeated'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 12, 2013

Kevin Sumlin is undefeated when he takes a helicopter to see a recruit.

The Aggies are off this week, and the bye week always means more recruiting for coaches. A few schools use a helicopter to travel to different high school games, and A&M uses one thanks to a booster.

Texas A&M fans have nicknamed it the “Swaggercopter.” Sumlin is known for tweeting #YESSIR when the Aggies score a commitment. On Tuesday, Sumlin explained exactly why the helicopter so valuable.

“We used it the first evaluation time we could use it, a year ago. It was a little controversial,” he said. “We had the hurricane postpone the first game, so Florida became the first game. That Thursday night, we had a couple (recruits) that were playing. It just so happened the game was on ESPN. We didn’t know that at the time, when we started planning that. The two guys involved in the game actually signed with us.

“We practiced Thursday, and just be sheer need to get to the game, there’s really only one way to do it. You can’t drive. We’re going to north Houston, so you can’t get through Houston at 6 o’clock in the afternoon on Friday night. You can’t fly, because if you fly into (the airport), you have the same problem with traffic. If you land on the baseball field right next to (the high school game), then you don’t have that issue. Fortunately, we have a booster who is very, very generous and offered to use that. I think it’s one of the only types of helicopters of its kind in the state.

The ability for me to go to practice and practice until 6 and there’s a game that starts at 7 or 7:30, for us to get to Houston and inside that stadium in less than an hour is unbelievable, or to Dallas in an hour and 40 minutes or to go to two or three different games. Some people think it’s for show, but it’s also for necessity if you’re going to complete practice with your own team and be able to see more than one game on Thursday and Friday nights.

“We’ve taken it to a couple different places. As I told the booster, it seems to be working, because the helicopter is undefeated, as far as signees and commitments. We’re going to keep that going. I know that. You change a lot of things, you evaluate your program all the time, but that’s one thing I think we’ll keep doing.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to