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Pre-game Wednesday: Kevin Sumlin and Chris Wilson bond goes beyond coaching



Mississippi State defensive coordinator Chris Wilson (left) maintains a close friendship with Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin (right) going back to their coaching days at Oklahoma.


Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - The Dispatch MSU Sports Blog remembers about 13 months ago pulling Mississippi State University defensive coordinator Chris Wilson aside and asking him why one of his best friends in the coaching business, Kevin Sumlin, hadn't left the University of Houston yet?  


The answer I got was very interesting.  


"He is a guy that appreciates the situation he has and it's always been about family so moving his kids out of school and uplifting his family too much doesn't interest him except for an outstanding circumstance," Wilson said. "I know Kevin is one of the better people in college football and I can say that because he's such a good friend of mine. He truly doesn't feel like it's now or never to leave a place." 


Months later, after Houston had completed a remarkable one-loss season and the Texas A&M University head coaching position became open, Wilson was the first ones I talked to when his close friend Kevin Sumlin started to be bantered about for every head coaching vacancy in Division 1 college football and asked him about A&M.  


Wilson laughed and said "that is an outstanding situation".  


Not long after that comment by Wilson, who keeps in close contact with Sumlin and his family during the season, Sumlin was named the next head coach at Texas A&M and its first coach that would lead them in the Southeastern Conference.  


"To have an opportunity to be the head coach at Texas A&M was something very special to me," Sumlin said after donning a maroon blazer at the media conference on Dec. 13. "Being at one of the great traditional universities in the United States and playing in probably the best league in the country is just a great opportunity for me." 


Most coaches would play the classic Godfather style 'he's dead to me' game when a coach enters the league in which you're employed as Sumlin did last December but the relationship between the Wilson and Sumlin family hasn't gone through that scenario.  


I'll have a feature in Thursday's edition of the Dispatch on the buddy-buddy relationship will be put aside Saturday when No. 16 Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2 in SEC) comes to Starkville to face Wilson's defense of the No. 17 MSU (7-1, 3-1) squad. 


"It's just really more us in our relationship," Wilson said Monday. "Kevin and I have known each other for a long time. Our friendship's our friendship, and this is business. We both understand that our families are close, our children are close. We just get prepared to go do what we do, and that's to do our job." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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