LaTech introduces new head coach Sonny Cumbie

New LA Tech head coach, Sonny Cumbie, addresses players.
New LA Tech head coach, Sonny Cumbie, addresses players.(Louisiana Tech University)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:01 AM CST
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RUSTON, La. (KSLA) — Louisiana Tech’s new head football coach was introduced at noon Wednesday, Dec. 1 at the Ruston university.

The news conference to introduce the school’s 34th head coach was held at the Davison Athletics Complex.

Coach Sonny Cumbie comes to Louisiana after leaving Texas Tech.

“Sonny Cumbie is the perfect fit for our program, our department, our university, and our community,” LaTech Athletics Director Eric Wood said. “Culture. Class. Competitive excellence. He exemplifies all of these things.

“As our student-athletes, staff and fans get an opportunity to know Sonny, they will see what we saw during the interview process.”

LaTech President Les Guice and Wood, who also serves as the school’s vice president, introduced Cumbie, who previously was a record-setting quarterback at Texas Tech.

“I’ve heard so much in the last year about the history of high-scoring offenses and hard-hitting defenses,” Wood said. “Our fan base wants an exciting brand of football. They want to win conference titles. They want to continue to build upon the success we have had over the past decade.

“Sonny will bring all of that to Ruston.”

According to Football Scoop, Louisiana Tech officials believe a deal with be finalized soon. Cumbie was to remain interim head coach through Texas Tech’s bowl game.

“Sonny Cumbie is a strong young coach who impressed us all with his depth of understanding and focus on the game,” Guice said. “His ability to recruit promising student-athletes and maximize their talents will help us continue to take our football program to a higher level of competitiveness.

“I look forward to seeing Sonny be the next in line of so many great Louisiana Tech coaches. And I know he and his family will be a great addition to our Tech family.”

DETAILS FROM LA TECH

During his tenure at TCU, Cumbie oversaw the Horned Frogs’ quarterbacks and served as the sole offensive play caller each of the final four years. TCU boasted the Big 12′s second-best conference record (38-25) and its third-best overall mark (58-30) over his seven seasons, which coincided with six bowl appearances. His impact was felt immediately at TCU as the program broke the Big 12 record with a 21.4 points per game improvement, the largest by any team nationally since 1999-2000 (Northwestern). TCU ranked No. 2 in scoring (46.5) and No. 5 in total offense (533.0) on the way to a 12-1 record. The 2015 Horned Frogs once again lit up the scoreboard, ranking No. 3 in total offense (562.8) and No. 7 in scoring (42.1) on the way to an 11-2 record and a win over Oregon in the Valero Alamo Bowl (rallying from a 31-0 halftime deficit). Cumbie helped push TCU to the Big 12 Championship game and a top-10 ranking in his first year as sole play caller in 2017 as the Horned Frogs closed the year at 11-3 overall following a 39-37 victory over No. 13 Stanford in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

During his first stint with the Red Raiders, Texas Tech threw for more than 4,000 yards each of the four years while averaging more than 35 points per game. His 2012 Texas Tech offense boasted a pair of 1,000-yard receivers, making the pair the first teammates to each eclipse 1,000-yard seasons since 2007 when future NFL stars Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola did so. In 2013, he coached a pair of freshman quarterbacks and still boasted an offense that finished second in the FBS in passing yards per game (392) and eighth in total offense (511).

After walking on for the Red Raiders in 2000, he earned the starting role his senior season and led the country in passing yards (4,742 yards) and total offense (4,575 yards) with 32 touchdowns. Texas Tech went 7-4 in the regular season and earned a berth to face Top 5 Cal in the Holiday Bowl, where the Red Raiders were huge underdogs. Cumbie completed 39 of 60 passes for 520 yards (still a Holiday Bowl record) and three TDs in the win over the Bears. Cumbie twice led the Red Raiders to 70-point games that season on the way to garnering honorable mention All-Big 12 accolades as well as Academic All-Big 12 first team honors. He spent time playing for the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League, earning a spot on the AFL All-Rookie Team in 2006 as well as being a finalist for the AFL Rookie of the Year. Upon completion of the 2006 season, Cumbie was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. He was back in the AFL for the 2007 season, leading the Avengers to their first playoff victory in franchise history while throwing for 83 touchdowns. Following his time in the AFL, he served time as a head coach in the Indoor Football League where he also played some quarterback during the 2009 season. Following the IFL stint, he joined Mike Leach’s staff as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.

“My family and I are extremely excited and honored to be the head coach at Louisiana Tech University,” Cumbie said. “We look forward to many successful seasons in Ruston with an exciting brand of football. I cannot wait to assemble our staff and get to building relationships with our players and the coaches across this great state.”

On Saturday, Texas Tech football ended its regular season schedule with a 27-24 loss to Number 8 Baylor in Waco, Texas.

“I’ve gotten a chance not only to experience first-hand the tremendous coaching ability of Sonny Cumbie, but also to understand how exceptional a person and leader he is,” Arizona Cardinals head Coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

“Coach Cumbie is one of the bright young offensive minds in football. This opportunity is a great one, and I am excited to watch the success he will have at Louisiana Tech. The Bulldogs are getting a good one.”

Cumbie and his wife, Tamra, have two sons, Grey and Hays.

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