Why Louisiana Tech believes Sonny Cumbie is right choice as football coach

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RUSTON - A new era in Louisiana Tech football began Wednesday when Sonny Cumbie was officially introduced as the new coach by athletic director Eric Wood.

Wood preached the mantra that Louisiana Tech athletics has lived by since he was named AD in October 2020. The three C's: Culture, Class and Competitive excellence.

"Culture related to the environment where people want to thrive, where they can thrive," Wood said. "Class where we expect our coaches to act with professionalism, exhibit professionalism and our student athletes to exhibit sportsmanship. Competitive excellence, on and off the field, but whenever they're keeping score or there is a ranking, we want to compete ... Sonny Cumbie exemplifies all of this."

Dr. Eric Wood, VP and Director of Athletics, introduces Sonny Cumbie as the new head football coach at Louisiana Tech
Dr. Eric Wood, VP and Director of Athletics, introduces Sonny Cumbie as the new head football coach at Louisiana Tech

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Cumbie, 40, received a five-year deal but financial terms were not released.

Cumbie started the season as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech, but was named interim coach Tech after Matt Wells was fired despite a 5-3 record. The Red Raiders were 1-3 in Cumbie's four games as interim coach, with all three losses coming against top 10 opponents.

His only head coaching experience was with the San Angelo Stampede of the Indoor Football League in 2009.

Cumbie played quarterback for Mike Leach at Texas Tech and later was as a graduate assistant for him. He was kept on staff as a co-offensive coordinator under Tommy Tuberville.

Cumbie's family was in attendance Wednesday and said that they'd be moving to Ruston. That includes his wife Tamra, 8-year-old son Grey, 5-year-old son Hays along with Tamra's parents.

Cumbie replaces Skip Holtz, who was fired following nine seasons, including a 3-9 campaign this season.

Wood said that the amount of candidates and phone calls that he received regarding interest for the coaching position from Power Five coordinators and the NFL level was astounding and inspiring, but when it came down to making the decision, he knows the the right decision was made.

"I could hear in everything that he was talking about that it was about pouring into our student athletes to get the best out of them," Wood said. "You want passion ... There's always one where you say that's my first-round draft pick, and that's who we got."

This article originally appeared on Monroe News-Star: Why Louisiana Tech believes Sonny Cumbie is right choice as football coach