Jon Sumrall introduced as new Trojans head football coach
TROY, Ala. (WSFA) - Faith. Family. And of course, football. That’s the foundation new head coach Jon Sumrall is hoping to build at Troy University.
Driven by his passion to be the best, Sumrall lit up the room at his introductory press conference on Monday. There were plenty of laughs, a few tears and, most importantly, a promise to get Troy football back on track.
“I’m just honored and grateful to be the head football coach at Troy,” said Sumrall. “Tremendous opportunity, storied program, a place that me and my family love, just really grateful for this opportunity.”
Sumrall comes to Troy from his alma mater, the University of Kentucky, where he was recently promoted to co-defensive coordinator under Mark Stoops. But when the opportunity to return to the Wiregrass was presented to him, he couldn’t wait to get back.
“It was emotional. There’s been so much hard work in my career that has gotten me to this point that I’ve put in,” said Sumrall. “There’s also been a lot of people that have given me opportunities to help get me here, and then there’s been a lot of people make sacrifices, whether it be my wife or my family, to allow me to do what I do and do it at a high level.”
“We interviewed coach Sumrall, and we probably spent about 10 hours together,” Troy’s director of athletics, Brent Jones, said about the hiring process. “This was a very thorough, detailed search, and so I knew there were going to be certain triggers for him that were going to be emotional, and obviously it was during (the press conference). That shows you that’s how much this job means.”
Fans have already had a taste of what Sumrall offers to this program. He was on staff under former head coach Neil Brown, one of the most successful coaches in Trojan history. Sumrall says he’ll draw inspiration from his mentor and friend while concentrating on implementing a player-first program going forward.
“It’s just really getting to interact with the players. I love recruiting, that’s great, and I’m excited about putting a staff together, but I’m really excited about getting the guys back here in January and creating the culture and developing the routines and the battle rhythms to which we’re going to use to help us become the program we want to be,” he said.
But the most impressive thing about Sumrall is not his coaching abilities or how he plans to recruit. It’s the way he connected with the people of Troy and how he plans to bring more than just championships to Trojan Nation.
“One of the things that really set him apart was that he wanted to be at Troy, his comprehensive plan, and he’s been here while we’ve had tremendous amount of success. And so when we talked about rebuilding Troy back to the area and back to the level that we wanted to, he could show that he’s already done that before,” said Jones.
“Somebody really good once told me if you’re not fired up with enthusiasm you’re going to get fired with enthusiasm, so every day we’re going to bring energy, we’re going to bring juice, we’re going to bring excitement,” said Sumrall. “For me personally, you either have a chance to walk into a room and make people feel better or worse about the day, and I’m pretty convicted that I want to make them feel better about what we’re doing.”
Sumrall will get to work on hiring a coaching staff before starting his first official season as head coach this spring.
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