Jon Sumrall begins his third season as the assistant head coach at Troy University. Sumrall works with Troy’s linebackers and will serve as the special teams coordinator for the second consecutive season.
The Troy defense finished the 2016 season second nationally in passes intercepted, fourth in turnovers forced, 17th in rushing defense, 21st holding opponents to 22.1 points per game (20.5 allowed by the defense) and 28th in third-down defense.
In 2016, Troy posted a 10-3 overall record with a victory in the Dollar General Bowl, the first top-25 ranking in school and Sun Belt Conference history and the best win-improvement in the country.
Additionally, linebacker Justin Lucas was named the MVP in Troy’s Dollar General Bowl victory.
In his first season, the Trojans finished the year with the second-best turnaround nationally in opponent 3rd-down percentage (14.62 percent), the fourth-best turnaround in yards per play allowed (-1.13), the fifth-best improvement in tackles for loss per game (2.59) and 16th-best improvement in total defense (-62.7).
Troy held opponents to 391.2 yards per game, an improved of 62.8 yards from the previous season and the first time under 400 yards since the 2008 season.
Troy scored five defensive touchdowns, the third most in the country and most by a Troy team since 2004, and finished fifth in the country with 13 fumble recoveries. The Trojans forced 16 turnovers over the final six games of the season after just three in the first six games.
Linebacker William Lloyd debuted with 15 tackles in the opener at NC State; the most ever by a Troy player in his debut. Lloyd would go on to be named to the Sun Belt Conference All-Newcomer Team.
Sumrall joined the Troy staff after spending the previous three seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at Tulane.
Sumrall’s defense was a crucial part of Tulane’s run to the New Orleans Bowl in 2013 as the Green Wave finished second in the nation with 35 forced turnovers. It was Tulane’s first bowl game since 2002 and just its third since 1988. Tulane finished fourth nationally with 16 fumble recoveries and sixth with 19 interceptions that year.
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.
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.
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.
In 2011, the Toreros ranked 15th nationally in run defense (113 ypg), 13th in pass efficiency defense, fourth in sacks (3.64 spg), and 16th in third-down defense (32.2 percent).
The San Diego defense had numerous players receive accolades. Defensive end Blake Oliaro was named Pioneer Football League (PFL) Defensive Player of the Year, Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) second team All-American and first team all-conference.
In Sumrall’s first season as defensive coordinator in 2010, the defense ranked first in scoring defense (16.1 ppg), total defense (265 ypg), run defense (67.1 ypg), and third-down defense (31.7 percent) in league play, and was also ranked second in pass defense (197.9 ypg).
Following the 2010 season, defensive end Mario Kurn was named a Ted Hendricks Award finalist, Buck Buchanan Award Finalist, first team All-American by Phil Steele and The Sports Network, second team All-American by the Associated Press and first team all-conference.
In 2007 Sumrall coached defensive end Eric Bakhtiari, who was a 2007 Walter Camp first team All-American, an Associated Press first team All-American, a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award and was named the PFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Sumrall spent two seasons (2005-06) serving as the defensive graduate assistant at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky.
As a collegiate player, 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 (Ala.) High School.
A native of Huntsville, Ala., Sumrall completed his bachelor’s degree in finance in 2005 and has completed coursework on a master’s degree in sports leadership.
Sumrall is married to the former Ginny Nixon of Huntsville, and the couple has 4-year-old twins, Samuel George and Sadie Gayle, and a daughter, Stella (1).