Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin 'has to win this year,' says Aggies AD

DESTIN, Florida -- After guiding Texas A&M to three consecutive 8-5 seasons, Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin needs to do better, starting this coming season, according to athletic director Scott Woodward.

"Coach Sumlin knows he has to win," Woodward said during an appearance on The Paul Finebaum Show on Tuesday. "He has to win this year. He has to do better than he has done in the past."

Sumlin, 52, has a 44-21 record in five seasons at Texas A&M, 21-19 against SEC foes.

After the Aggies went 11-2 and quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy in their first season in the SEC in 2012, they haven't finished better than fourth place in the SEC West in the four seasons since.

Last season, the Aggies started 6-0 and were ranked No. 6 in the major polls, before losing five of their last seven games. They fell to Kansas State 33-28 in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl.

"Last year was extremely disappointing," Woodward said while attending SEC spring meetings in Florida. "We were as highly ranked as [No. 6] and got up there and played very competitive games and fell off, like we've been doing.

"We were very disappointed as a program, both Coach [Sumlin] and I, and we just want to make darn sure we get it right. We've had a heck of a spring. Recruiting continues to go well."

Sumlin has three years left on a six-year contract that pays him about $5 million per season. The Aggies would owe Sumlin a $10 million buyout if he were to be fired this coming season, which would have to be paid within 60 days of his termination, according to his contract.

The Aggies are expected to return 12 starters this coming season, fourth fewest among SEC teams, and they have to replace quarterback Trevor Knight and defensive end Myles Garrett, the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Browns in last month's NFL draft.

"I have all the confidence that Coach is going to get it done, and he's going to get it done in a very convincing way," Woodward said.

The Aggies open the season at UCLA on Sept. 3.