Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin turned down a chance to be USC's coach and has declined all interview requests for NFL coaching jobs, according to an ESPN report.
Sumlin, 49, recently signed a six-year, $30 million contract with Texas A&M, and though NFL Media senior analyst Gil Brandt reported Tuesday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl will be the final game for Aggies sophomore stars Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, A&M should -- at the least -- be a solid team again in 2014, which should further strengthen Sumlin's resume.
In six seasons as a head coach, at Houston and Texas A&M, Sumlin is 54-23, and he has had three seasons with at least 10 wins (2009 and '11 with Houston, last season with A&M). At both stops, he has taken over programs with a star-in-the-making quarterback on hand: Case Keenum at Houston and Manziel at A&M. He looks fine at that position going forward, too: Kenny Hill is a sophomore-to-be who has big-time dual-threat possibilities, and A&M also has a commitment from Kyle Allen, the No. 1 pro-style quarterback nationally in the 2014 recruiting class.
In general, A&M has recruited well under Sumlin and is poised to bring in another talented class. The school's move to the SEC will pay off handsomely, in both the money flowing into school coffers and in terms of national football prestige, and the school is spending $450 million to renovate Kyle Field, already one of the most intimidating places to play in the nation. In addition, rival Texas is searching for a new coach and it might be another two seasons before the Longhorns again are on solid ground. That's obviously good for the Aggies.
Yes, the SEC is daunting. Heck, in A&M's division alone, there are three teams (Alabama, Auburn and LSU) whose fan bases expect to compete for national titles every season. Still, the money is flowing, the wins have been there, the 2014 team looks strong even with the imminent departure of "Johnny Football" and the infusion of prime talent annually looks as if it will continue.
ESPN reported that an NFL source "insists" Sumlin is open to coaching a select pro team or two but that a source close to Sumlin said, "That's 100 percent not true, and it has no chance of happening. Zero."
At least for now, that's the case. And, frankly, it shouldn't be that surprising. Manziel might be the king of College Station right now, but Sumlin isn't far behind, and there is no negative media to deal with. Plus, there is far less of a grind in college football, and while recruiting can wear down a coach, there is no evidence that Sumlin is anything close to being worn down. A&M is in a state with a ton of great players, is the only "major" team in the state that's not in the Big 12 (A&M is selling the SEC vs. the Big 12, which is a good selling point) and runs an exciting offense that should be appealing to the plethora of skill-position recruits in Texas.
All in all, Sumlin has it good right now. Why worry about rebuilding a bad NFL team?
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.