One head coach recently decided to remain with a Group of Five program after some impressive recent success – and the program probably isn’t done winning anytime soon.
Troy head coach Jon Sumrall agreed to a four-year deal to stay with the Trojans through the 2026 season, the school announced on Monday.
Sumrall led Troy to a victory in the Sun Belt championship in 2022, a decisive 45-26 victory over Coastal Carolina. Then the Trojans defeated No. 22-ranked UTSA, the winner of the Conference USA title, 18-12 in the Cure Bowl to close out the year.
Troy was ranked 19th in the final AP Top 25 of the season, which marked the first time the program was in a national poll after the postseason.
“Coach Sumrall’s leadership will take our football program to even greater levels of success,” Troy Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. said in a press release. “I am certain the best is yet to come for Troy University football.”
Troy tied a program record for most wins in a season with 12. That’s the most victories the program has ever seen at the FBS level.
Sumrall was the Sun Belt Coach of the Year in 2022. This was just one season after taking the helm following a stint as Kentucky’s co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach.
“Last year was an amazing accomplishment for everyone associated with Troy Football and was the product of relentless effort from our players and staff, athletic administration and university leaders,” Sumrall said in a press release. “… This represents an investment in the future of Troy Football for our players, coaches and staff.”
The Trojans were strong defensively in 2022. They allowed just 17.5 points per game, which was the eighth-fewest in the country.
They held every one of their opponents to under their season average in scoring. That included Appalachian State, Western Kentucky, and UTSA, which were in the top 25 in scoring in the nation. Troy was also in the top 20 for the fewest yards allowed per game (325.6).
The trick will be sustaining this success.
Shiel Wood, Troy’s defensive coordinator in 2022, left to take the same position at Tulane. Greg Gasparato, previously an assistant at Louisville, was hired to be the new DC and to coach safeties while Tayler Polk added co-defensive coordinator to his title and will continue coaching inside linebackers.
And the Trojans lost plenty of talent on that side of the ball. Carlton Martial, the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, is gone as are six of Troy’s top eight tacklers from a year ago.
Troy returns some defensive standouts, though. In 2022, defensive lineman T.J. Jackson and defensive back Reddy Steward were All-Sun Belt first-team selections. Defensive linemen Richard Jibunor and Javon Solomon were on the second and third teams, respectively, while safety Dell Pettus garnered an honorable mention.
With Sumrall’s defensive background, there’s little reason to think this won’t be a respectable unit again next season.
And the Trojans will have some skilled offensive players back, though they lose multiple all-conference offensive linemen, including Jake Andrews. Kimani Vidal, who was third in the Sun Belt with 1,132 rushing yards last year, is on the 2023 roster.
Despite the offseason changes, Troy seems to believe Sumrall will keep the program performing at a high level.
“The announcement of a new contract for Coach Sumrall represents a continued commitment to our student-athletes and football program,” Troy athletic director Brent Jones said in a press release, “while emphasizing the importance that Troy University Athletics places on being a leader in the Sun Belt Conference and FBS.”
What’s Jon Sumrall’s Record At Troy?
Troy went 12-2 in Sumrall’s first and only season so far at Troy.
How Much Money Is Jon Sumrall Making At Troy?
Financial details of Sumrall’s new deal weren’t publicly released, but he reportedly made $825,000 in 2022. His new contract reportedly includes a pay raise.
What’s Troy’s Record In Bowl Games?
Troy is 6-3 in nine bowl games after winning the Cure Bowl in 2022. The Trojans have won their last five bowl games.