It seemed like yesterday when Art Briles left for Baylor and the Big 12, leaving Houston in the dust. In came Kevin Sumlin. The former Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach under Bob Stoops, Sumlin was set to become the newest member of the Houston Cougars. Sumlin's first head coaching position was upon him and the Houston community could not have been more excited.
Sumlin brought his offensive mind from Oklahoma to Houston and quarterback Case Keenum was the perfect fit in the system. Despite not winning a Conference USA Championship with the Cougars, Sumlin did a heck of a job. He made Houston relevant. A school that struggled to fill the seats at most sporting events, all of the sudden was 12-0 and #6 in the BCS standings heading into the 2011 C-USA Championship Game against #24 Southern Miss. The game went to the Golden Eagles 49-28 in a game the Cougars never led, eliminating any chance of UH making a BCS appearance for the first time ever. A huge loss for C-USA.
Sumlin finished his career at UH with a 35-17 (24-8 C-USA) record as he now becomes the Head Coach at Texas A&M. Since Briles made the jump to the Big 12, he has developed Baylor into a legitimate program while coaching their first ever Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III.
Will Sumlin enjoy that same type of success at Texas A&M? The SEC is a completely different monster, with the likes of LSU, Auburn, Florida and Alabama on the schedule, and the likes of Tulane, SMU and Marshall off the schedule. Sumlin deserved the job, as did Briles, and both jumped at the chance to move up to a more prestigious conference. UH will head to the Big East in 2013, but for now UH is what we call a "stepping stone" job. You take the UH job and excel there only to be offered a better job somewhere down the line, like Baylor and Texas A&M.
That said, here's a look back at Sumlin's best moment and worst moments at UH:
Sept. 12, 2009 - The unranked Cougars led by Case Keenum go on the road at then #5 Oklahoma State and Dez Bryant and win 45-35. That same season the Cougars beat Texas Tech 29-28 on Sept. 26 and also won at Mississippi State 31-24 on Oct. 10.
December 3, 2011 - The #6 Houston Cougars were 14-point home favorites in the C-USA Championship Game against #24 Southern Miss (10-2). The 12-0 Cougars got run at Robertson Stadium 49-28 in a game they never led. The Cougars' BCS dreams were dashed and rumors were after the game Sumlin had already been in talks with the Aggies about the head coaching job, although both Sumlin and UH Athletics Director Mack Rhoades would deny this.
Sumlin went 1-1 in bowl games at UH, winning the 2008 Armed Forces Bowl in his first season and losing the 2009 Armed Forces Bowl.