Houston coach Kevin Sumlin deflected questions about his future Tuesday, saying he’s had several conversations with athletic director Mack Rhoades about a contract extension.
Sumlin is a hot commodity after guiding Houston to unprecedented heights in four seasons.
The seventh-ranked Cougars (12-0, 8-0) can finish the program’s first undefeated season and likely land its first Bowl Championship Series berth with a victory in Saturday’s Conference USA championship game at home against No. 24 Southern Miss (10-2, 6-2).
Sumlin’s current contract pays him a base salary of between $1 million and $1.2 million and runs through the 2015 season.
“I’ve talked to Mack a couple of times, we’ve had a couple different discussions about a lot of things,” Sumlin said. “I’ve got a really strong relationship with him, an open relationship. Our administration understands that we’re trying to win a championship, and things that detract from that, I’m not really interested in doing.”
Houston is 35-16 in Sumlin’s four seasons, and has turned into one of the nation’s most prolific offenses along the way. The Cougars lead the nation in total offense (613.3 yards per game), scoring (52.7 points per game) and passing yards (449.7 per game). They’ve scored at least 35 points in every game, and hit at least 56 in six victories.
Current coaching vacancies include Mississippi, Illinois, UCLA and Arizona State, and more firings are inevitable.
“Nobody has talked to me all year,” Sumlin said. “No one has contacted me from anywhere in the country about a coaching job anywhere. Even if they tried, at this point, I wouldn’t even talk to them. We’re in the middle of the season.”
Rhoades acknowledged that he has talked to Sumlin about his future with Houston.
“We’re going to continue to talk, as appropriate,” Rhoades said on Tuesday night.