Arizona fires football coach Kevin Sumlin during 0-5 season

Dec 12, 2020, 3:25 PM | Updated: 11:18 pm
Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin is shown during the second half of an NCAA college football game ag...

Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin is shown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, in Tucson, Ariz. Sumlin could be on the hot seat this season after going 9-15 his first seasons at Arizona. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

University of Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin was fired Saturday, the day after the 70-7 loss to rival Arizona State, the school announced in a press release.

Defensive Coordinator Paul Rhoads will take over for Sumlin as the interim head coach.

On Friday night, ASU scored the first 42 points of the game and forced seven turnovers as it handed Arizona its fourth Territorial Cup loss in a row.

That was the final straw for Arizona, whose football team has now lost 12 games in a row extending to last season.

“When we hired Kevin three years ago, we had very high hopes for our football program,” Dave Heeke, vice president and director of athletics, said in the release.

“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.”

The Wildcats will honor the terms of Sumlin’s contract, including his $7.5 million buyout, according to the release.

Sumlin did not lead the Wildcats to a single winning season, as Arizona finished 5-7 in his first season, 4-8 in his second and is 0-5 in 2020 at the time of his firing.

Sumlin was hired after a six-year stint at Texas A&M during which the Aggies went 51-26 and made five bowl games. Prior to that, he coached at Houston from 2008-2011, during which the Cougars went 35-17.

He is 95-63 over his 13-year career and is 4-3 in bowl games.

Arizona hired Sumlin in 2018 after firing former head coach Rick Rodriguez.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Football

Rob Gronkowski #87 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to a game against the Carolina Panthe...
Arizona Sports

Wildcat product, Tampa Bay TE Rob Gronkowski announces 2nd retirement

Buccaneers tight end and Arizona Wildcat product Rob Gronkowski announced Tuesday that he will walk away from the NFL for the second time.
7 days ago
In this Aug. 29, 2019, file photo, the Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium d...
Nikash Nath

Athlon Sports’ 2022 All-Pac-12 teams include 9 Sun Devils, 7 Wildcats

The college football season kicks off in just more than two months. Athlon Sports' Steve Lassan released the All-Pac-12 teams.
11 days ago
(Twitter Photo/@arian_parish)...
Jake Anderson

Arizona Wildcats football receives commitment from 3-star DB Arian Parish

The Arizona Wildcats football team received another three-star recruit for the class of 2023 on Friday in DB Arian Parish.
18 days ago
Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Davonte' Neal #19 runs upfield during the first half of the Pac-12 c...
Kellan Olson

Former Wildcats WR/CB DaVonte’ Neal charged with 1st-degree murder

Former Arizona Wildcats wide receiver and cornerback DaVonte' Neal has been charged with felony first-degree murder in Arizona.
25 days ago
Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats reacts on the sidelines during the first half against...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Wildcats football future non-conference games

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch continues to build the program as the Wildcats have a handful of non-conference Power Five matchups down the road.
1 month ago
Arizona State linebacker Kyle Soelle carries out the state flag as the team takes the field to face...
Wills Rice

ESPN’s Connelly: ASU’s Soelle, Arizona’s Cowing players to watch in 2022

ASU's returning leader at LB and Arizona's transfer at WR are among players to watch in the Pac-12, according to ESPN's Bill Connelly.
1 month ago
Arizona fires football coach Kevin Sumlin during 0-5 season