Sumrall Retains Staff

by Logan Pittman

Troy University Head Football Coach Jon Sumrall announced Friday that the team’s Sunbelt Conference champion staff will remain intact. 

“We have a tremendous staff,” Sumrall said at a recent press conference. “In our profession, it’s inevitable that there will at times be turnover. There’s not going to be a hundred percent retention ever for the long haul, but we currently still have everyone here.”

The football team’s staff has learned from its first full season together, and staff members are beginning to understand the “battle rhythms” and “daily routines and the rhythms at which they do things.” 

Defensive Coordinator Shiel Wood was a prominent contributor in the Trojans success. His defensive staff pushed the Trojans to the 19 team in the country in total defense. 

The good staff news came on the heels of Sumrall’s most recent four-day, 32-high school recruiting trip plus a speech before the Alabama Football Coaches Association in Montgomery, Alabama.

Sumrall didn’t disclose whether he inked any new recruits, but he did highlight some of their previous signees. He mentioned the value that many of the signees will bring and the roles they will contribute to.

“Recruiting is the lifeblood of your program, but the most important players in the world to me are on our roster,” said Sumrall, who added that the team is still assessing its strengthes and weaknesses.

Sumrall returns to Troy only days before the February dead period, which prohibits recruiting visits on and off campus. Coaches also must remain on campus for the period. Recruiting can and will continue throughout the dead period through other means of communication. 

Sumrall, who is set to host potential walk-ons this Saturday, called walk-ons a “vital part” of the program.

“You look at the walk-on history here – just last year’s team, with Carlton Martial and Craig Slocum as our top two tacklers and one of our GAs, Hunter Reese, [who] was a defensive player of the year in this league in 2018,” Sumrall added.

Sumrall also was recognized recently as an inductee in the Huntsville Madison County Sports Hall of Fame. 

“I’m honored, you know, I kidded around with some of my friends when I heard about it, that some of the people in that society are great athletes, some of them have been inducted because they’re great coaches,” Sumrall said. “The combination of me being average at both has helped me get in, so, average athlete and average coach, we’ll let both those averages be enough to get him over the top.”

Sumrall credited those who’ve helped him and mentored him throughout his life, including the people of Huntsville. 

“You don’t get anywhere on your own,” Sumrall added. “I’m not here because I’ve done anything special, but because I have a lot of people who support me.”

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