NEW ORLEANS, La. (WKRG) — Troy Trojans head coach Jon Sumrall is one of three new head coaches in the Sun Belt Conference making his first trip to New Orleans for the SBC media days Wednesday afternoon. Georgia State hired former USC head coach Clay Helton and Louisiana promoted former offensive coordinator Michael Desormeaux in the offseason.
Sumrall is making a reunion of sorts to the Trojans program previously serving as the assistant head coach from 2015 to 2017. Sumrall spent a year (2018) as the linebackers coach with Ole Miss and two seasons in various defensive roles for the Kentucky Wildcats including co-defensive coordinator for the 2021 season.
Sumrall is an experienced assistant in the Southeastern Conference and produced a top-25 defense in the Wildcats last year. Sumrall now has his first opportunity to lead his own program, a challenge he tells WKRG News 5 he’s “excited” about.
“I probably put more pressure on myself than anybody else ever could regardless of where I am coaching or what role I am in. I have always been as hard on myself and harder on myself than anyone else could be. So I don’t have to worry about the outside pressure or noise I am going to be as critical of how I do things and more so than anybody else could be,” said Sumrall.
As mentioned, Sumrall knows what it takes to be successful at Troy. Sumrall was part of the Trojans staff that upset LSU 24-21 in Baton Rouge in 2017. During his first tenure, the Trojans won two consecutive bowl games, a 2017 Sun Belt Championship and produced a record 11-win season in 2017.
Sumrall told News 5 he hopes he can replicate that type of success for the Trojans program, who were picked to finish third in the West division in the preseason SBC polls.
“I want our guys to have every opportunity to be as successful as possible and it’s our job as coaches to invest in the whole person and develop each player to be the best they can be in every area of their life whether that be football academically socially or spiritually we want to provide them with the resources to grow to be their best,” said Sumrall.
The Trojans have not had a winning season in the last three years. Before former head coach Chip Lindsey, Troy produced three 10+ win seasons from 2016-2018, the same time Sumrall was on the staff.
McGill-Toolen standout and fifth-year starting linebacker Carlton Martial told News 5 his new coach has been a “welcomed changed.” Martial and Sumrall are familiar as the two spent one season together in 2018.
Martial’s 442 career tackles is just 103 shy of Northwestern’s Tim McGargile’s FBS record of 545 career tackles. Martial also landed on the Bronko Nagurski Watch List, given to the best defender in all of college football. This is Martial’s second consecutive trip to SBC Media Days.
“He was there when I first got there so I know a little bit about him, he didn’t really get to coach me that much but since he is back there has been some familiarity and I’m pretty sure you ask around the nation Coach Sumrall is a good guy and he’s really brought a new type of energy to us that we haven’t had these past few years so we are excited,” said Martial.
The new-look Trojans open up the 2022-23 season in Oxford, Miss. against Ole Miss at 3 p.m. CT on Sept. 3. The game will be aired on the SEC Network, according to the team schedule.
Here is a look at the full 2022-23 Troy football schedule:
|at Ole Miss||Oxford, Miss.||Sept. 3/3 p.m./SEC Network|
|Alabama A&M||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Sept. 10/6 p.m./ESPN3|
|at Appalachian State||Boone, N.C.||Sept. 17/2:30 p.m./ESPN+|
|Marshall||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Sept. 24/6 p.m./TBA|
|at Western Kentucky||Bowling Green, Ky.||Oct. 1/6 p.m./TBA|
|Southern Miss||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Oct. 8/6 p.m./TBA|
|Texas State (Homecoming)||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Oct. 15/2:30 p.m./TBA|
|at South Alabama||Mobile, Ala.||Thursday Oct. 20/6:30 p.m./ESPNU|
|at Louisiana||Lafayette, La.||Nov. 5/TBA|
|Army||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Nov. 12/2:30 p.m./TBA|
|ULM||Veterans Memorial Stadium||Nov. 19/2:30 p.m./TBA|
|Arkansas State||Jonesboro, Ark.||Nov. 26/TBA|
|Sun Belt Conference Championship||TBA||Dec. 3/TBA|