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Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and Barcelona Neymar jersey West Virginia head coach Dana Holgerson traded one liners at the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl press conference this afternoon from Memphis.

Linebackers' coach Mark Hagen will be A&M's interim defensive coordinator for the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl
However, much to the consternation of bowl officials, once the floor was opened for questions from Texas-based reporters, the conversation turned to the vacancies on the Texas A&M staff, in particular the defensive coordinator spot that has been vacant since former coordinator Mark Snyder was let go the day after A&M’s season ending game with LSU.

“The search is going great” said Sumlin in response to a question from a reporter. “As far as a timetable, you would like get someone as quickly as possible. To me, it’s not about a timetable, it’s about the person. There’s not a definite timeline defensively. The receiver’s coach got a little more time. We’ve got guys that can coach the position. The defensive coordinator was the first thing. We’re going through it and it’s going well”.

Sumlin was then asked about what qualities he was looking for in defensive coordinator.

“There’s lots of different qualities were looking for” he said. “It’s got to be the right fit for us. There’s lot of guys interested in the job. We’re sorting through personalities, whether they’re a 3-4, 4-3, or 3-3 stack guy. It depends on what we are looking for as an organization. It’s also tied to what type of scheme we’re wanting. It’s not limited to one particular area. There’s a limited pool and we’re getting closer every day to hiring one”.

A&M ran a 4-3 defense under Snyder and the mention that Sumlin was talking about the possibility of hiring someone who ran a different scheme prompted Bayern Munich jerseys 2015 a follow up question about whether or not he was thinking about switching up his scheme. That in turn elicited a comment from Holgerson that he would “love to hear the answer to that” before Sumlin could respond.

When the laughter had died down, Sumlin replied “We’re looking at lot of different things. I’ll just say that when we announce it you’ll know what direction we’re headed”.

In the interim, Sumlin talked about the role of linebackers’ coach Mark Hagen who is fulfilling the role as A&M’s defensive coordinator for the bowl game.

“Mark has been around at linebackers’ position and that has a lot to do with the back end and the front end, the intermediate area. He has been able to talk fronts and coverages. He has been a lot of different places. He understands what all areas of defense are all about”.

When Sumlin wasn’t being asked about the defensive coordinator position, the conversation turned to other aspects of both teams including their bowl game preparation as Sumlin and Holgerson have been recruiting and will allow their players to go through final exams.

“We’ve taken a week off or so from practice” Sumlin said. “Our finals are next week. The calendar has changed a little bit. The recruiting calendar is different. There’s not as many practices as we used to have”.

Outside of A&M’s coaching changes, the biggest news going into the game has been the availability of West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett. Trickett started most of the season and led the Mountaineers to an upset of Big 12 co-champion Baylor but suffered an apparent concussion against Kansas State. He was replaced by backup Skyler Howard who nearly led a comeback against the Wildcats and then helped West Virginia to a season ending win over Iowa State.

“He’s in limbo right now” said Holgerson. “A concussion is 100% out of the coach’s and kids’ hands. Skyler came in when we were down 21-3 to Kansas State and we nearly came back. He went up to Iowa State and did well”.

“I don’t know the definition of a concussion. Every time someone comes to the sidelines it’s out of the coaches’ hands. It’s a sensitive subject that’s not going to go away any time soon. I can’t comment on his health right now or what he’s been through”.

Sumlin and Holgerson coached against one another when Sumlin was an assistant at Oklahoma and Holgerson was the receivers’ coach at Texas Tech. When Sumlin got the head coaching job at Houston before coming to A&M, Sumlin hired Holgerson as his first offensive coordinator. Holgerson joked at first that he was going to have change his signals but then expressed his gratitude for having worked with Sumlin.

“I appreciate him for believing in me” Barcelona messi jersey he said. “We enjoyed great success there”.

“We had some good times” said Sumlin. “There’s been lots of things said about assistants learning from head coaches but nothing is ever said about head Chelsea home jersey coaches learning from assistants. We made some mistakes and we grew. Hopefully we’ll hang around for a few more years”.


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