Texas A&M‘s Kevin Sumlin not only walked away from a chance to be USC‘s coach, but he is also declining all requests to interview for NFL coaching jobs as he’ll honor the six-year, $30 million contract he signed with the Aggies on Nov. 30, according to several sources.
An NFL source insists Sumlin is open to coaching a select professional team or two, but a source close to Sumlin said, “That’s 100 percent not true, and it has no chance of happening. Zero.”
Sumlin has passed on several inquiries and job opportunities from NFL and high-profile collegiate jobs, including USC, sources said.
Sumlin is committed to coaching Texas A&M until the school finishes its $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. The renovation, which also has been labeled a redevelopment, is being done in three phases, with the grand opening set for August 2015.
Sumlin also wants to build a championship program to consistently contend in the SEC after spending the past two seasons as an instantly relevant team that nevertheless fell short in its two chances to win the SEC West. The Aggies moved from the Big 12 to the SEC in 2012, with Sumlin compiling a 19-6 record since becoming coach.
The school has made a substantial financial commitment for Sumlin to accomplish his goal. His $30 million contract includes a clause that would require A&M to pay a full lump-sum balance within 60 days if the Aggies ever decide to fire him. For example, if he were fired after the 2014 season, A&M would have to pay him $25 million within 60 days, and there are no offsets that would reduce that amount if he took another job after being dismissed.
Sumlin has a relatively reasonable buyout of $5 million, but that’s irrelevant, a source said. He also can be fired “for cause,” which would nullify his lump-sum payment arrangement.
As for the NFL, sources say professional football will have to wait until January 2016 before Sumlin will be open for business, if he so chooses.
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