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Kentucky Football coaching profile: Jon Sumrall

A close look at Kentucky’s new inside linebacker coach.

(Bruce Newman, Oxford Eagle via AP)

With former defensive coordinator and inside linebacker coach Matt House off to the NFL, Mark Stoops was forced to reshuffle his defensive coaching staff.

Stoops has promoted outside linebackers coach Brad White to defensive coordinator, and he then added Jon Sumrall from Ole Miss to take House’s second role as inside linebackers coach.

It appears with the two moves Kentucky’s coaching staff is set in stone for 2019.

The newest member of the coaching staff brings a diverse coaching resume to Lexington as he’s worked in a handful of roles in his multiple coaching stops.

Here’s a look at Sumrall’s resume:


  • 2010-2011: San Diego defensive coordinator
  • 2012-2014: Tulane co-defensive coordinator
  • 2015-2017: Troy assistant head coach
  • 2018: Ole Miss linebackers coach

Despite only entering his second year as an SEC coach, Sumrall’s resume is clearly quite impressive.

At both Tulane and Troy, Sumrall coached nationally ranked defensive units.

In both of his seasons at Troy, the Trojans finished towards the top of both the Sun Belt conference and NCAA in multiple defensive categories. In 2017, the Trojans won 11 games with Sumrall as the assistant head coach that included an upset win over LSU.

That season, a defense Sumrall had a significant impact on led the nation in red zone defense. In addition, the team finished second in tackles for loss per game, seventh in rushing defense, 11th in scoring defense and 24th in total defense per game.

After seven seasons of coaching in mid-major conferences, Sumrall got his first power five job in 2018 when he was named linebackers coach for the Ole Miss Rebels.

The Rebels defense struggled in 2018, but Sumrall did get to experience coaching in the SEC and clearly showed Stoops and Kentucky enough to bring him back to his alma mater.

Sumrall has been a defensive coordinator in the past. Brad White has NFL coaching experience; thus, there’s a chance Kentucky could one day lose him. If that does happen, there’s a good chance the former Kentucky linebacker becomes defensive coordinator for the Wildcats.