clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tulane hires Troy’s Jon Sumrall as head coach

Sumrall posted a 23-4 record in two years at Troy, winning back-to-back Sun Belt tires.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 20 Troy at South Alabama Photo by Bobby McDuffie/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Five days after Willie Fritz departed Tulane for Houston, the Green Wave found their next head coach.

On Friday, the Green Wave officially agreed to terms with Jon Sumrall to be Fritz’s successor.

“I can’t thank President (Michael) Fitts and (athletic director) David Harris enough for this opportunity,” Sumrall said in a statement. “Having spent some of the early part of my career here, I came to know, first-hand, what it means to be a Tulanian and got to meet so many wonderful people at Tulane. (My wife) Ginny and I are beyond grateful for the chance to experience that again and I can’t wait to get back to work with the Wave!”

Sumrall coached two seasons at Troy where he posted a 23-4 record, won back-to-back Sun Belt championships, won one bowl game, and finished No. 19 in the 2022 final AP Poll.

In the three seasons prior to Sumrall’s hiring, Troy posted an aggregate record of 15-20 with three consecutive losing campaigns and zero bowl appearances. It was an immediate turnaround when Sumrall was brought on board, and he turned the program into a Sun Belt dynasty instantaneously. He defeated Coastal Carolina in the 2022 Sun Belt Championship Game to claim the Trojans’ first conference title since 2017. Then last Saturday, he defeated Appalachian State in the 2023 Sun Belt Championship Game for the program’s first consecutive conference titles since 2006-10.

In December 2022, he defeated UTSA in the Cure Bowl for the sixth bowl win in program history, which secured Troy’s first-ever end-of-season ranking in the AP Poll. Following those accolades, Sumrall agreed to a 4-year extension with Troy last March which ran through the 2026 season.

Prior to his wildly successful stint at Troy, Sumrall served as the defensive coordinator at Kentucky, where he played linebacker from 2002-04. Sumrall’s other stops as an assistant include Ole Miss, Troy, and Tulane. At Tulane, he operated as the co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in 2012 and 2013, and in 2014, he shifted to become the Green Wave’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. The 2013 Green Wave were a defensive juggernaut, ranking 18th in scoring defense and 21st in total defense with a particular dominance in stifling the run.

This is the second consecutive offseason Tulane hired a coach from Troy. Last year, the Green Wave added defensive coordinator Shiel Wood, but Wood is expected follow Fritz to Houston with other Tulane assistants.

Sumrall inherits a Tulane team which fared 23-4 across the last two seasons with back-to-back AAC Championship Game appearances. Including interim coaches, Sumrall becomes the 42nd head coach in Tulane history. He will be the first head coach to operate a full season under new athletic director David Harris. Sumrall’s contract details have yet to be revealed.

“This is a landmark day for Tulane football,” Harris said in a statement. “Jon’s passion for the game is unmatched and I really felt that in meeting him. The Green Wave will be in good hands under his leadership and we’re excited that he and Ginny have elected to make their family part of ours here at Tulane.”