Interim Coach Tony Levine Will Replace Kevin Sumlin At Houston

Kevin Sumlin is gone, setting up a critical decision process that's concluded with Tony Levine remaining on board.

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Tony Levine Officially Named Next Houston Cougars Coach

Houston Cougars interim head coach Tony Levine is officially the man in charge, the school announced Wednesday. He'll take over for the departed Kevin Sumlin, who's prepping to lead Texas A&M into the SEC. Task one is the same as it was the day before: ready for the TicketCity Bowl against the Penn St. Nittany Lions

In a statement, athletic director Mack Rhoades gushed about his new coach:

"I'm so pleased to be able to announce Tony Levine as our new head coach," Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "Before we began this process we talked about the characteristics we wanted in the leader of our football program and Tony embodies each of those qualities. We spoke with former players, current student-athletes and interviewed some of the top football coaches in the country, and all of our talks led us right back to Tony.

"We consistently talk about building a program and building upon our culture here at UH and when you have the perfect fit right here on staff, you feel fortunate. But we still wanted to do our due diligence. We talked to some great folks, some people that are already outstanding Division I head coaches, but the best fit for UH is Tony Levine."

Levine has been an assistant at UH for four years, becoming assistant head coach two years ago. He's also been running the special teams and coaching tight ends. Previous stops have landed him at Louisville and Louisiana Tech, with a Carolina Panthers gig in there too.

Levine on his new job:

"I'm both humbled and excited to have this opportunity to lead the Houston Football program and continue my work with our student-athletes and staff," Levine said. "This is a dream come true for me and my family. We love Houston and I'm proud to say that Houston is our home. When you have the opportunity to lead a program, it has to be more than a job. Houston is a destination spot. Continuing to build this program is a personal challenge because this place means so much to us. We have new facilities on the horizon, we are heading into an AQ (Automatic Qualifying) conference, we have the vision and leadership of Mack Rhoades and President Khator and we have the best fans and student support in America. That's why Houston is so special."

For more on all the coaching moves thus far, here's SB Nation's 2011 College Football Coaching Carousel Tracker.


Texas A&M Announces Kevin Sumlin, New Aggies Head Coach

The Texas A&M Aggies have announced their new head coach: as long expected, it's Kevin Sumlin of the Houston Cougars. He'll become the first SEC coach in Aggies history, which is probably something. From A&M's official release on the hire:

"It is with great pride that we announce Kevin Sumlin has accepted an offer to become the next head football coach at Texas A&M University," Byrne stated. "We began this search process a little over a week ago and spoke to many worthy and qualified candidates, but my decision, which was made in consultation with (Texas A&M) President (R. Bowen) Loftin, kept leading me to Kevin. We met this morning to finalize the offer. I believe he is the right person to lead our football program into the Southeastern Conference. First of all, Kevin is a terrific person. He is also one heck of a recruiter and he will put together a great staff."

"I am very excited about the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at Texas A&M University," Sumlin said. "Having coached there before, I understand the culture and embrace the commitment by the 12th Man regarding Aggie football. Aggieland is a special place and I look forward to working with the young men in the football program and recruiting the type of players we need to be successful in the SEC."

"With that being said," Sumlin continued. "I can't thank the University of Houston enough for giving me a chance to become a head football coach. It is tough to leave a group of players who have worked so hard and have done things the right way in taking Cougar football to greater heights."

Sumlin takes over for Mike Sherman, who was fired in a recruit's driveway after a collapse-prone, 6-6 season.

For more A&M, visit Texas A&M blog I Am the 12th Man.


Kevin Sumlin To Texas A&M Finally Done, Houston AD Confirms

The Texas A&M Aggies are finally, actually, for real hiring Houston Cougars head coach Kevin Sumlin to replace Mike Sherman. Houston's athletic director, Mack Rhoades, confirmed as such Saturday evening, naming Tony Levine the interim coach.

@skhanjr Sam Khan Jr.:  Rhoades joked on Sumlin taking assistants: "I told him he couldn't take any."

Sumlin has been the presumed next A&M coach for quite some time now, but the Aggies reportedly felt like undertaking a side quest in an effort to swipe Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt. The UGA coach's agent certainly appreciates the venture.

Going 35-17 at UH and nearly reaching the BCS, Sumlin now becomes the first African-American head coach at a major Texas program and A&M's first-ever SEC head coach. Expect A&M to officially announce him shortly.

For more on the Aggies, visit Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. And check in with our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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