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Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin will return for a third season, athletic director Dave Heeke said Saturday night after the Wildcats fell at Arizona State to end the season on a seven-game losing streak.
Sumlin went 5-7 in his first season in Tucson in 2018 and followed up with a 4-8 record this year.
“I think it’s important at the conclusion of our season that we address the issue and put it out there,” Heeke told reporters after Arizona lost 24-14 in Tempe.
“I’m looking forward to Year 3 as we continue to rebuild the program. … Right now we’re focused on moving forward. We’re getting out tomorrow recruiting, moving the program forward and taking the steps necessary to continue to build the program and do the things that need to be done to get Arizona football on a winning track.”
Arizona would owe Sumlin, who has a five-year contract, $10 million if he was fired before mid-January.
In addition to going out recruiting, Sumlin must find at least three new assistant coaches after firing three on his defensive staff — including coordinator Marcel Yates — during the season.
The Wildcats finished with the worst conference record in the Pac-12 at 2-7.
“We have a process that I believe in, and that our players believe in,” Sumlin told reporters Saturday night. “How you respond to this is going to be extremely important.”
Sumlin joined Arizona after being fired following the 2017 season at Texas A&M. He has a career record of 95-58 at Houston (2008-2011), A&M (2012-2017) and Arizona.
–Field Level Media