To say that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin made a splash in his first season with the Aggies would be quite the understatement.
Sumlin flourished in his transition year—which just so happened to be Texas A&M's first in the SEC—leading the Aggies to an 11-2 record, a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl and producing the first redshirt freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy in Johnny Manziel.
Winning is pretty cool, but Sumlin has brought his own unique style to College Station, creating a personality not only for himself, but for his entire program.
According to MySanAntonio.com, local disc jockey "DJ Double R" made an appearance earlier this spring when he spun records at Kyle Field for Texas A&M's "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage.
Loud noises at football practices is nothing new. Coaches use a wide variety of noises to simulate crowd noise during game weeks all the time. But the concept of live music added a different dimension to football practice—and it's something that Sumlin plans to stick with.
"We started that at Houston a couple of years ago," Sumlin said on the SEC coaches' teleconference last month. "I had gone out to speak at Steve Sarkisian's clinic at Washington during their spring football a couple or three years ago where he was doing it, and I liked it. We don't play football in a sterile environment ever, and it helps us from an energy standpoint."
But it's certainly innovative and something that would break the monotony of practices that drag on from period to period.
To be successful in college football, you have to work hard. But there's no rule against having fun while you're working hard, and it's clear that Sumlin gets it.
It's just another in a growing list of traits that has made Sumlin a "player's coach."
"He is the kind of coach that gets along with everyone regardless of background or experience," former Aggie running back and Texas A&M analyst Brandon Leone said. "He expects nothing but your best, and despite being a cool coach he demands accountability from everyone and treats you all the same. Makes it very easy to respect him and play for him because he has your back."
Sumlin's laid-back confidence is infectious, and it was apparent in his first season in the SEC.
He took over a team that had been plagued by an inability to play a full four quarters in 2011, restored its confidence and turned it into a bully. Instead of being a pushover, the Aggies now dictate style and pace. Confidence is a big part of the equation, and a team takes on the personality of its coach.
From taking over Texas A&M's Twitter feed for open Q&A to writing "yessir" on Twitter any time he gets a commit to hiring DJs for practice, Sumlin keeps things entertaining while not losing focus on the ultimate goal
Not a bad recipe for success, if you ask me.
*Barrett Sallee is the Lead SEC College Football Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand.