Sumrall receives high praise at SEC Media Days

The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is holding its annual SEC Media Days in Atlanta, GA this week and while Troy University wouldn’t typically be a topic of conversation there, that wasn’t the case this week.

New Troy football coach Jon Sumrall served as an assistant coach at Kentucky from 2019 until coming to Troy earlier this year. Sumrall spent the 2019 and 2020 season as the school’s inside linebackers coach before being elevated to co-defensive coordinator in 2021 for the Wildcats.

“You’re getting a home run with Jon Sumrall,” Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops said at Media Days. “You’re getting a home run and you’re getting the whole package. He’s a very dynamic guy, so it’s a big loss for us, but I’m happy for him and (his wife) Ginny.

“I know he feels at home (in Troy), he’s from that area. So, for him to go back there he’s very excited about it, but we’re going to miss his energy. He’s a great recruiter and a great football coach. He’s a big picture guy, he’s the whole package.”

Stoops pointed to Sumrall’s ability to relate to his players and build relationships as one of his strongest points.

“Troy is going to benefit from him because he’s a high energy guy and he’s a relationships guy,” Stoops emphasized. “The big thing, in this day and age, people understand that the bottom line is relating and relationships and being authentic.

“He’s high energy and will work. You have to invest; the bottom line is you have to invest. You have to invest yourself and your time, it’s commitment, and (players) feel that and Jon will do that.”

All-SEC Kentucky linebacker Denadre Square echoed Stoops’ opinions on his former position coach.

“He was kind of the heart and soul of the defense and the energy guy,” Square said. “He would say, ‘If you need energy, come get it from me!’ I think Troy is getting a great leader.

“He’s helped a lot of us young men turn into grown men. I feel like Troy is getting a great guy in Jon Sumrall.”

Sumrall will speak at the Sun Belt Conference’s Media Days on July 27 as he and his Trojans gear up for the start of Fall Camp in August.