With the regular season winding down and the coaching job rumor mill about to hit full swing, Texas A&M did its best to ensure that its head coach won't be on the market.
The Aggies and coach Kevin Sumlin reached an agreement on a new six-year contract, the school announced Saturday, hours before the team's scheduled kickoff against No. 5 Missouri.
Sources tell ESPN Senior NFL Insider Chris Mortensen that Sumlin has agreed to forsake NFL bids as part of his new contract. The sources said Sumlin's new $5 million-per-year deal guarantees him to coach the Aggies until the school has completed and played in its $450 million renovation of Kyle Field, which is set to open in 2015.
The contract is pending approval by the school's board of regents.
"Coach Sumlin has demonstrated why he is considered among the nation's elite football coaches," athletic director Eric Hyman said in a statement released by the school. "His coaching and recruiting abilities are only secondary to his integrity, class and passion for his student-athletes and this university. Texas A&M is making a sincere commitment to Kevin."
It is the second new contract Sumlin has received in 11 months. After being hired before the 2012 season, Sumlin signed a new deal on Jan. 1 that paid him a base salary of $3.1 million per season. That deal was set to expire after the 2017 season. The new deal, if Sumlin coaches through it, would keep the 49-year-old in Aggieland through the 2019 season.
Several reports have cited or speculated that Sumlin is the top candidate on the radar of USC athletic director Pat Haden to fill its vacancy after Lane Kiffin was fired earlier this season. Sumlin has also been rumored to be a possible target for NFL teams.
"I am humbled and very appreciative of the commitment that Texas A&M has extended not only to me and my family, but to our football program overall," Sumlin said in a statement. "We have only just begun to lay the foundation for sustained, long-term success here at Texas A&M, and we will work hard every day to make this great institution and the 12th Man proud."
Sumlin has a career record of 54-22 and is 19-5 since taking over at Texas A&M. Under his watch, the Aggies went 11-2 last season, far surpassing outsider expectations in their first SEC season and finishing ranked No. 5 in the country, their highest end-of-season ranking since 1956. Sumlin, who began his head coaching career at Houston in 2008, was named the league's coach of the year last season.
This year, the Aggies are 8-3 and trying to finish with 10 wins for the second straight season, which would mark the first time since 1994 that a Texas A&M team accomplished that feat.
The Aggies haven't quite lived up to some of the lofty expectations that came with their top-10 preseason ranking this season, but with the program on track for a second consecutive top-10 recruiting class under Sumlin, the Aggies appear to be laying a foundation for future success in the SEC.