Arizona fires Kevin Sumlin after 29 games

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Arizona Wildcats fired Kevin Sumlin on Saturday. He lasted just 29 games on the job.

Sumlin will not be able to complete his third season at the school. Defensive Coordinator Paul Rhoads, who will serve as the interim head coach.

Former Arizona Wildcats head football coach Kevin Sumlin looks on from the sidelines against the Houston Cougars
Kevin Sumlin looks on from the sidelines against the Houston Cougars (Getty Images)

The Wildcats are 0-5 this season. However, despite the losing record, the team will be bowl eligible at the end of the season – if they choose to accept it.

Related: Panthers defeat Yellow Jackets, as Narduzzi, Collins have odd handshake

“When we hired Kevin three years ago, we had very high hopes for our football program,” Arizona Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke said. “Unfortunately, we simply have not seen the results and upward trajectory in our program that we needed to, and I believe now is the time for a change in leadership. I thank Kevin for his service to the University of Arizona and wish him the very best in the future.

“Our attention now turns to finding the next head coach at the University of Arizona, while we continue to support our student-athletes, who have sacrificed so much since returning to campus this summer. We will cast a wide net to identify and recruit a coach who shares our vision, our values and our passion for winning.”

Related: Only in 2020: Michigan, Ohio State called off due to COVID-19

Sumlin’s tenure ends with a 12-game losing streak that dates back to the 2019 season. In addition, in his final game with the team, as their head coach, the Wildcats were destroyed by their arch rivals, Arizona State Sun Devils on Friday night in a 70-7 loss.

The Wildcats have announced that they will honor Sumlin’s contract, including the buyout provisions.

Rhoads is 32-55 as a head coach. He was previously the Iowa State Cyclones head football coach from 2009 through 2015.

Related: South Carolina expected to hire Shane Beamer as new head football coach

Sumlin is 95-63 as a head coach. He was the Houston Cougars, Texas A&M Aggies, and the Wildcats head coach.

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