Tulane selects Troy’s Jon Sumrall as its next coach

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tulane has decided to fill its coaching vacancy with Troy’s Jon Sumrall, who like his predecessor has posted consecutive seasons with more than 10 wins.

Sumrall, whose hiring was announced Friday by incoming Athletic Director David Harris, replaces Willie Fritz, who left Tulane after eight seasons on Sunday to take over at Houston.

The 41-year-old Sumrall has gone 23-4 at Troy the past two seasons, winning back-to-back Sun Belt Conference championships. Now he’ll take over a program that won 23 games and one American Athletic Conference title during the past two seasons.

“The Green Wave will be in good hands under his leadership,” said Harris, whom Tulane hired on Nov. 21 to fill the vacancy created when Troy Dannen left to take over Washington’s athletic department.

Sumrall, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, is no stranger to Tulane, where he was co-defensive coordinator under Curtis Johnson from 2012-14.

“Having spent some of the early part of my career here, I came to know, firsthand, what it means to be a Tulanian,” Sumrall said, adding that he is “beyond grateful for the chance to experience that again.”

Sumrall became the assistant head coach at Troy in 2015, coached linebackers at Mississippi in 2018, and then became co-defensive coordinator at Kentucky — where he’d played linebacker — before his hiring for the top job at Troy in December of 2021.

Sumrall reportedly had been a candidate for the Duke job that went to Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz.

He also was seen as a potential candidate at Kentucky if Mike Stoops had gotten the Texas A&M job that wound up going to Duke’s Mike Elko.

Sumrall oversaw a dramatic turnaround at Troy, which had three straight losing seasons before he took over there.

His mission at Tulane will be to extend what has been the Green Wave’s best two-year stretch in nearly a century.

“Under Jon’s direction we expect that our football team will continue on its current path and reach even greater heights,” Tulane President Michael A. Fitts said. “Our success in athletics reflects the momentum of the university as a whole.”

Tulane went 12-2 in 2022, winning the AAC championship and its Cotton Bowl matchup with Southern California. This season, Tulane (11-2) hosted the AAC title game for a second straight year, but lost to SMU, 26-14.

Ranked 23rd in the AP Top 25, Tulane is preparing for a Dec. 27 matchup with Virginia Tech in the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland.

Troy defeated Appalachian State 49-23 in the Sun Belt title game and will play Duke on Dec. 23 in the Birmingham Bowl.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up