March 12, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue head football coach Joe Tiller has announced the hiring of Kevin Sumlin as an assistant coach in charge of the receivers, effective immediately. He replaces Tim Lappano who became the Seattle Seahawks' running backs coach last month.
Sumlin, 33, returns to West Lafayette after starring as a four-year starting linebacker for the Boilermakers from 1983 through 1986. The 1987 Purdue graduate is a native of Indianapolis where he attended Brebeuf Prep School.
Sumlin was honorable mention All-Big Ten in 1984 and 1986 (missed most of five games with injuries in 1985), and a Sports Illustrated All-America Walkon after leading the team with 91 tackles as a freshman in 1983. He racked up 109 stops in 1984 when the Boilers made a Peach Bowl appearance, and ranked fifth in the league with 114 tackles as a senior. Sumlin finished his college career with 375 total tackles (191 solo) and six pass interceptions.
"We are pleased that Kevin will return to Purdue," Tiller said. "I know him quite well after having worked with him as a player, graduate assistant coach and full-time assistant coach. I am confident that Kevin will make a tremendous contribution to Purdue football."
Sumlin has been an assistant coach at Minnesota since 1993. He was the Golden Gophers' receivers coach from 1993-96 and served as the quarterbacks coach in 1997. During his four years as receivers coach, Minnesota threw for an average of nearly 260 yards per game, compared to an average of 170 the previous five seasons. The Gophers led the Big Ten in passing offense in both 1993 (297.9) and 1996 (234.4), finished second in 1995 (260.3) and third in 1994 (244.6). The top five leaders in school career receptions and top three in career receiving yards all were coached by Sumlin.
Sumlin originally worked with Tiller out west. Sumlin started as Washington State's graduate assistant coach in 1988, working with the linebackers initially. He then served as WSU's junior varsity coach and finally the wide receivers coach. In 1991, he was named to coach Wyoming's receivers, a post he held for two seasons. The Cowboys ranked among the top 20 teams nationally in passing offense and top 30 in total offense in both 1991 and 1992.
Sumlin and his wife, Charlene, have a daughter, Courtney.