Kevin Sumlin Fired as Arizona Wildcats Head Coach

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Arizona has fired head coach Kevin Sumlin, the university announced Saturday. Wildcats defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads will serve as the team's interim head coach.

Sumlin's dismissal comes one day after the Arizona's demoralizing 70-7 loss to Arizona State in the Territorial Cup.

The last time the Wildcats gave up 70-plus points in a game was Nov. 19, 1949, in a 75-0 loss to Michigan State.

 Arizona Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke released a statement on Sumlin's firing, saying the program is in need of a change. 

"When we hired Kevin three years ago, we had very high hopes for our football program," Heeke said in the statement. "Unfortunately, we simply have not seen the results and upward trajectory in our program that we needed to.

"I thank Kevin for his service to the University of Arizona and wish him the very best in the future. Our attention now turns to finding the next head coach at the University of Arizona, while we continue to support our student-athletes, who have sacrificed so much since returning to campus this summer. We will cast a wide net to identify and recruit a coach who shares our vision, our values and our passion for winning."

Arizona (0-6) is riding a 12-game losing streak spanning the previous two seasons.

The Wildcats had a total of seven turnovers in their loss to Arizona State. Sumlin's defense allowed 486 yards of total offense with 259 coming from Arizona State's rushing attack.

With Sumlin's firing, he stands to make $17.7 million in buyout money from Texas A&M and Arizona. 

Sumlin finished 9-20 overall as a coach at Arizona including a Pac-12 record of 6-17. He previously served as the head coach at Texas A&M from 2012 to 2017 and at the University of Houston from 2008 to 2011.