Coach Jon Sumrall looks to past for plan to reestablish Troy football as Group of 5 power

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New Troy football coach Jon Sumrall laid out his plan Monday to rebuild the Trojans football program by looking to the past while bringing Troy back to relevance.

"I thank the former players," Sumrall said at his introductory news conference. "We need your help. I want you around come to practice come to my office, come see me. ... I want your help, I want your engagement with our program and our players. There's no better people for our current players get to see how they do life than our former players."

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Sumrall laid out a plan that he hopes will bring Troy football back to competing for conference championships. Sumrall was a part of the 2017 Sun Belt championship team's staff. Since joining the Sun Belt in 2004, Troy has won six conference titles.

The first part of his plan is to recruit heavily from the Southeast, an area he has experience recruiting from his time at Kentucky.

"We want to select the right people that fits this place and fits this program," Sumrall said. "It all starts at home ... so this state will be what we build our roster around first."

Sumrall wants to build a team with solid fundamentals, a relentless defense and an offense that can run the ball effectively.

Sumrall is known as a players' coach and wants the Trojans program to become player-first based. He understands what being a players' coach means.

"Everything we're going to do, every decision I make, is going to be about the student-athletes first and foremost," Sumrall said. "Sometimes it means a pat on the back. Sometimes it means criticism, encouragement; Being a players' coach is about caring about the player more than yourself. That's what a players' coach does, and that's what I hope to embody in every decision I make"

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Coach Jon Sumrall, right, signs autographs during Kentucky football's Fan Day at the Nutter Field House on campus.
Coach Jon Sumrall, right, signs autographs during Kentucky football's Fan Day at the Nutter Field House on campus.

Sumrall was announced as the head coach last Thursday.

Sumrall comes to the Trojans after being Kentucky's co-defensive coordinator. From 2015-17, Sumrall was linebackers and special teams coordinator at Troy under Neal Brown.

Sumrall replaces Chip Lindsey, who was fired with one game remaining in the season. Lindsey went 15-19 and failed to make a bowl game during his time with the Trojans.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Jon Sumrall has plan to bring Troy football back to G5 relevance

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