By LARRY VAUGHT
It’s really no surprise that first-year linebackers coach Jon Sumrall is “loving” life back in Lexington. He certainly did when he played linebacker at UK and again when he he spent time as a graduate assistant at Kentucky before starting his collegiate coaching career.
Sumrall certainly has loved the upgrade to the Kentucky football facilities since his previous time at UK as a player and grad assistant.
“I dreamed about it as a player and then as a GA,” Sumrall said.
Anyone who has ever known Sumrall will not be surprised by this story he shared.
“I had the opportunity a couple of years ago not long after (the new UK football) building opened up. Me and my wife in February every year go on trip post-signing day and we had wedding to go to for friend in Louisville, so I came in here and stuck my head in,” Sumrall said.
“I didn’t mess with anybody. It was Friday after signing day and everybody was off. We were off at Troy (where he was coaching). Came here and saw the building and it is first class. They had a vision and it is great.
“Now when kid wants to look at Kentucky they can walk in and see something first class that can compete with anybody in our league. It’s amazing.”
Sumrall has made a steady climb in his coaching career much like current West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, a man Sumrall worked under at Troy before going to Ole Miss as linebackers coach.
“I have always felt wherever you are, that’s the big time. When I was a GA here I thought I had the most important job in the building,” Sumrall said. “I knew it wasn’t but I think it is important to understand your role and be a star in your role and support whoever you are helping.
“I went to San Diego, a I-AA school, and thought I was coaching for USC, not USD. Every day I went to work and took great pride in being part of that program and won a lot.
“Tulane gave me my first shot at FBS job where I was co-defensive coordinator and I really had a big hand in that program for three years. Went to Troy, Ole Miss and now here. Every spot was important but being back here is somewhere I hope I am for a long, long time.”