OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss has hired Jon Sumrall as its new assistant coach for linebackers, head coach Matt Luke announced Monday.
Sumrall, a three-year letterman at Kentucky, helped lead nationally-ranked defenses at Tulane and Troy, where he spent the past three seasons as assistant head coach working primarily with linebackers and serving as special teams coordinator.
"Coach Sumrall became a defensive coordinator at a young age and has led turnarounds on that side of the ball everywhere he has been," Luke said. "He is a relentless recruiter and gets the very best out of his players. His passion, energy and toughness make him a great fit for our staff, and we can't wait to get him on campus."
For the second straight season, the Troy defense was tops in both the Sun Belt and NCAA in multiple defensive categories on its way to a school-record 11 wins in 2017. The Troy defense ranked first in the nation in red zone defense (.614), second in tackles for loss per game (8.6), seventh in rushing defense (105.3), 11th in scoring defense and 24th in total defense per game (336.6).
Sumrall oversaw a Troy special teams that ranked second in the country with 27.71 yards per return and had a freshman All-American return specialist in Marcus Jones.
Sumrall joined the Troy staff after spending the previous three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at Tulane. In his first season at Tulane, Sumrall’s defensive line accounted for 27.5 tackles for loss, including 13.5 sacks, recorded 11 quarterback hurries, forced four fumbles and recovered two.
In addition to ranking among the nation’s best in forcing turnovers, Sumrall’s 2013 defense finished 22nd nationally in total defense (352.1), 13th in sacks per game (2.92) and 11th in red zone defense (73.5 percent). That season he was named a finalist for FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year along with coaches from Michigan State, Stanford and Missouri.
Prior to his arrival at Tulane, Sumrall spent five seasons in various positions at the University of San Diego, including as the defensive coordinator during his final two seasons. He spent his first three seasons as the defensive line coach, recruiting coordinator and camp coordinator before assuming the defensive coordinator and linebackers coaching role in 2010. During his final season with the Toreros, Sumrall was promoted to assistant head coach.
Sumrall was a three-year letterman at middle linebacker for Kentucky from 2002-04. He started every game as a senior and led the Wildcats with 72 tackles. Sumrall was a two-time all-state performer and a four-year letterman at Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama.
Sumrall completed his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2005 and has completed coursework on a master’s degree in sports leadership.
Sumrall’s Coaching Career:
2005-06 – Kentucky – defensive graduate assistant
2007-09 – Univ. of San Diego – defensive line/recruiting coordinator
2010-11 – Univ. of San Diego – defensive coordinator/linebackers
2012-14 – Tulane – co-defensive coordinator
2015-17 – Troy – assistant head coach/linebackers/special teams coordinator
2018-present – Ole Miss – linebackers
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