Jon Sumrall addresses coaching speculation

Published 10:21 am Tuesday, November 21, 2023

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With the success that Troy Football has enjoyed in such a short time under head coach Jon Sumrall, it was inevitable that his name would start to become more and more mentioned among Power 5 job openings and he has addressed that speculation head on this week.

With a number of head coaching positions around the country coming open in the past few weeks, Sumrall’s name has been speculated in the media at many of those places. Sports Illustrated attached Sumrall’s name as a possibility at Texas A&M, and Pete Thamell mentioned Sumrall’s name in connection to Mississippi State during College Gameday on ESPN this weekend.

Sumrall didn’t just address these rumors with the media on Monday but he’s also addressed it with his players.

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“I addressed my name maybe being speculated with our guys last week just to make sure we took it head on,” Sumrall emphasized. “I make sure we define what speculation is, too. Speculation is a theory without evidence to make that theory up. Where there is movement in our profession people try to prognosticate who could be a fit somewhere else without knowing all the evidence.

“I’m extremely happy here. I am right where my feet are. I’m focused 100 percent on hits week, this game and us having our best Monday practice of the year. I told our guys, ‘Am I going to be 80 years old and die right in here Troy, Alabama? I don’t know that but if I did, I wouldn’t be mad about it.’ I’d be very happy and content with that.”

Sumrall also deflected the attention he gets as a reflection of his coaching staff and players.

“When a coach gets attention it’s not about the coach,” he said. “I told our team this, ‘When you’re winning as a coach they talk about where you’re going to go next. They’re already ready for you to go to the next thing. When you’re losing, they can’t wait to get rid of you.’

“Any attention I get is because of our staff, our players and everyone that is around our program. It is not about me. It never has been and never will be. The team is not about one individual. Anything that comes my way, isn’t because of me. Last year I got Coach of the Year but it wasn’t about me. It was about the team, those things are always about the team.”

Sumrall used Javon Solomon’s selflessness as an example of what he means about the team.

“I use Javon as an example of that to our team,” he continued. “Javon really is a two-point stance player, that’s what he’ll play in pro football, but our team needed him to play ‘field end’ so he and (Richard Jibunor) could get on the field at the same time. He’s done that.”

While speculation and rumors can be frustrating for a coach, Sumrall was adamant that he would rather have that type of speculation as opposed to the other kind of speculation.

“Things come up and I’d rather them be talking about this than talking about how they can run me out of here,” he said. “Anything that comes my way, though, is about the players. This whole thing is about the payers, it ain’t about me.”