Mike Sherman Fired – Texas A&M football coach Mike Sherman has been fired. Athletic director Bill Byrne said in a statement released Thursday night, the coach had been relieved of his duties.
Already all signs pointed Thursday night to the Aggies pursuing Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, a former A&M assistant, as Sherman’s replacement. Sumlin has led the Cougars to a 12-0 record and a berth in Saturday’s Conference USA championship game. Other candidates include Louisville coach Charlie Strong, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, and Boise State coach Chris Petersen.
Sherman, who finished 6-6 this season, posted a mark of 25-25 in four seasons at A&M. He is slated to receive a buyout of $5.4 million, said an A&M official, because the contract announced in July that called for a raise and extension was never executed.
The contract outlining the terms of Sherman’s extension, said an A&M official, wound up being signed by Sherman in late October but never received the signature of President R. Bowen Loftin. If the extension agreement had been executed, the buyout would have been almost $9 million.
In his statement, Byrne said Sherman “operated our football program with the highest levels of character and integrity over the past four seasons and has served as a great ambassador for Texas A&M.”
Byrne said an interim coach will lead the Aggies in the team’s bowl game. The school’s bowl destination will be decided Sunday.
A&M began the season with a top 10 ranking and 18 returning starters from last year’s 9-4 squad. But the Aggies squandered double-digit leads in five of the team’s six losses, a factor that officials weighed in making Thursday’s decision.
Safety Trent Hunter, a senior captain, and the four-year starter said of Mike Sherman being fired, that he was “a father figure.”
“He’s a guy that really taught us core values that I will take with me for the rest of my life,” Hunter said. “He is a man of integrity, character, and honesty. There’s not much more that you can ask for in a man than what Coach Sherman brings to the table. His door was always open to us and you could count on him being brutally honest with you no matter what. That’s one of the things that I will always respect him for.”