HOOVER, Ala. -- More than a month after Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward publicly said that head coach Kevin Sumlin "has to do better than he has done in the past," Sumlin responded by agreeing with his boss.
"We all want the same thing, and I came here to do a job and win a championship, and we haven't done that yet," Sumlin said. "That being said, we've won more games than anyone [at Texas A&M] in the last 20 years. Are we better at Texas A&M than when I got here? You bet. Is it where we want to be? No.
"Nobody puts more pressure on me than I put on myself and nobody wants to win more than I want to. Whatever's said, whatever the conversation, whatever's written, it's not going to affect how I do my job. It's not going to affect my day-to-day operation."
Appearing on The Paul Finebaum Show at SEC spring meetings in late May, Woodward was very blunt in his assessment of Sumlin following the Aggies' third straight 8-5 season.
"Coach Sumlin knows he has to win," Woodward said. "He has to win this year. He has to do better than he has done in the past."
In five seasons as Texas A&M's coach, Sumlin, 52, has gone 44-21, but has an SEC record of 21-19. Sumlin debuted with an 11-2 record with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel in 2012, but has not finished better than fourth in the SEC Western Division in the four years since.
In the last three seasons, the Aggies have gone 5-0, 5-0 and 6-0, only to finish 8-5 each year. In the last four seasons, Texas A&M has posted a 7-9 record in November. The Aggies were ranked sixth in the nation following a 6-0 start last year, but ended the season losing to 33-28 to Kansas State in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.
"We're not giving any excuses, and that starts with me," Sumlin said. "We want to be a top-10 team. We want to be a championship team. The things that we've done ... to figure out how to get to that next level, we're doing.
"My job is to fix it. It's not about talking about it. The biggest sign in our building says 'no excuses' and it's our job to get it fixed, and that's what we're doing."
Financially, cutting ties with Sumlin following the 2017 would be pricey for Texas A&M. Sumlin has three years left on his six-year contract, which pays him about $5 million per season. According to Sumlin's contract, the school would owe him his $10 million buyout that would have to be paid within 60 days of his termination if he were to be fired after the 2017 season.
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