Kevin Sumlin reacts to public pressure from his athletic director

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 12, 2017

Kevin Sumlin was essentially publicly called out by his own athletic director to win in 2017, but the coach says it really doesn’t change much.

At the SEC spring meetings in May, AD Scott Woodward said, “Coach knows he has to win, and he has to win this year, and we have to do better than we’ve done in the past.”

In the last four seasons, A&M has started 5-1, 5-0, 5-0 and 6-0, but never finished with more than nine wins, sliding in the second half each year. Asked about Woodward’s comments Wednesday, Sumlin said he already knew he needed to fix things.

“I’ve done this a long time, almost 30 years,” he said. “For me, I approach my job, whether something this written or said, it doesn’t change. There’s nobody that puts more pressure on me than Kevin Sumlin.”

Sumlin knows what the standard is in the SEC West, but he was also quick to defend the successes he’s had in College Station.

“We all want the same thing. I came here to do a job and win a championship. We haven’t done that yet,” he said. “That being said, we’ve won more games (here) than anybody in the last 20 years. Is the place better than when I got here? You bet. Is it where we want to be? No. Nobody wants to win more than me.”

Asked if he thought Woodward’s comments broke any “protocol,” Sumlin didn’t put anything into that and said they have private meetings all the time. The coach continued to put out an optimistic tone, while understanding the pressure. He pointed to new strength coach Mark Hocke as an example of changes to fix the slides.

“After the last game, you asked me what I tell frustrated fans. Tell them I’m frustrated, too,” Sumlin said. “My job is to fix it. It’s not about talking about it. The biggest sign in our building says ‘No Excuses.’ It’s our job to get it fixed, and that’s what we’re 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