Last week, it was Kevin Sumlin who seemed all but destined to replace Dennis Erickson in Tempe, until he made his intentions known to the Aggies (and the Sun Devils for that matter) that he prefers the be Texas A&M’s next head coach.
An unusual and hasty process by some Texas A&M boosters, who went over the head of their athletic director, Bill Byrne, and straight to the University President, Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, caused Sherman to be dismissed last Thursday. This move was done with the understanding that Sumlin was going to be named as Sherman’s replacement no later than Sunday.
On Saturday, Sumlin’s University of Houston team was beaten by Larry Fedora’s Southern Mississippi squad 49-28 in the Conference USA Championship Game. The result of that game, along with the perceived unnecessary and hurried process to oust Sherman in favor of Sumlin, has caused Texas A&M to take a step back in their head coaching search process.
Additionally, Fedora who appeared to be the leading candidate for the Ole Miss job was passed on in favor of Hugh Freeze. Even though North Carolina is making a strong push for Fedora it is believed that he will first give consideration to Texas A&M and ASU in that order. Fedora has no West Cost ties and has coached previously in Oklahoma, and it would be a mild surprise if he decided to take a job in the Pac-12.
As reported yesterday, ASU is still considering Sumlin and if Fedora were to land, as many expect, at Texas A&M, there is little doubt that the Sun Devils will pursue Sumlin once again. Additionally, we are hearing that Baylor head coach Art Briles is still in consideration for the ASU head coaching job and could be interviewed in the next few days as well.
Devils Digest will continue and bring you all the latest in ASU’s ongoing coaching search.