Arizona Wildcats football
|Arizona Wildcats football|
|Athletic director||Greg Byrne|
|Head coach||Rich Rodriguez
3rd year, 16–10 (.615)
|Home stadium||Arizona Stadium|
|Stadium capacity||56,037 |
|All-time record||628–488–33 (.561)|
|Postseason bowl record||8–9–1 (.472)|
Navy Blue and Cardinal Red
|Fight song||Fight! Wildcats! Fight!|
|Mascot||Wilbur the Wildcat|
|Marching band||The Pride of Arizona|
|Rivals||Arizona State Sun Devils
New Mexico Lobos
The Arizona Wildcats football team is the football team of the University of Arizona, located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific-12 Conference at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level. The team is currently coached by Rich Rodriguez.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early History (1899-1913)
- 1.2 Pop McKale era (1914-1930)
- 1.3 Enke and Farwick (1931-1932)
- 1.4 Tex Oliver era (1933-1937)
- 1.5 Orian Landreth era (1938)
- 1.6 Miles Casteel era (1939-1948)
- 1.7 Robert Winslow era (1949-1951)
- 1.8 Warren Woodson era (1952-1956)
- 1.9 Ed Doherty era (1957-1958)
- 1.10 Jim LaRue era (1959-1966)
- 1.11 Darrell Mudra era (1967-1968)
- 1.12 Bob Weber era (1969-1972)
- 1.13 Jim Young era (1973-1976)
- 1.14 Tony Mason era (1977-1979)
- 1.15 Larry Smith era (1980-1986)
- 1.16 Dick Tomey era (1987-2000)
- 1.17 John Mackovic era (2001-2003)
- 1.18 Mike Stoops era (2004-2011)
- 1.19 Rich Rodriguez era (2012-present)
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Yearly records
- 4 Notes
- 5 Championships
- 6 All-time record vs. current Pac-12 teams
- 7 Bowl games
- 8 Rivalry games
- 9 Logos and uniforms
- 10 Game day traditions
- 11 Individual records
- 12 Future Schedules
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
Early History (1899-1913)
The football team began at the University of Arizona in 1899 under the nickname "Varsity". Stuart Forbes became the first head coach of Arizona football history and the team compiled a 1–1–1 record.
On Nov 7, 1914, the team traveled to the west coast to play Occidental, then one of the reigning gridiron powers in California. Occidental won 14–0. Arizona later received the name "Wildcats" after a Los Angeles Times correspondent, Bill Henry, wrote that "The Arizona men showed the fight of wildcats".
Pop McKale era (1914-1930)
Pop McKale was a very successful high school coach in the Tucson area when he was hired at UA. In 1921, Drop-kicker/receiver Harold "Nosey" McClellan led the nation in scoring with 124 points. Wildcats finished the regular season 7–1, and were invited to UA's first bowl game, the East-West Christmas Classic in San Diego, to play powerhouse Centre College of Kentucky; Arizona lost the game 38–0. The Wildcats did not compete in football in 1918 due to World War I. On October 18, 1926 UA quarterback and student body president John "Button" Salmon died from injuries sustained in a car wreck. His final words, spoken to coach "Pop" McKale, were: "Tell them.....tell the team to Bear Down." Soon thereafter, the UA student body adopted "Bear Down" as the school's athletic motto. On October 18, 1929, Arizona opened up Arizona Stadium for college football play. They won their first game against Caltech with a shutout score of 25–0. McKale retired after sixteen seasons at Arizona. The McKale Center, the University of Arizona's home basketball venue, was opened in 1973 and named in McKale's honor.
Enke and Farwick (1931-1932)
Tex Oliver era (1933-1937)
Oliver's "Blue Brigade" played an expanded, more nationwide schedule, and Arizona produced their first All-Americans under Oliver. The team's 1938 record of 8–2 was a school best to date.
Orian Landreth era (1938)
Orian Landreth replaced Oliver and struggled in his one season as head coach, compiling a 3–6 record before he was fired. That season was the first losing season for the Wildcats in several years.
Miles Casteel era (1939-1948)
Miles Casteel came to Arizona from his post as an assistant coach at Michigan State. In his eight seasons (Arizona did not field football teams in 1943 or 1944 due to World War II), Casteel compiled a 46–26–3 record and led the Wildcats to the first bowl berth in three decades in his final season, a loss in the 1949 Salad Bowl to Drake.
Robert Winslow era (1949-1951)
Robert Winslow served as Arizona's head football coach for three seasons, posting a record of 12–18–1, with the team improving every year under his tutelage, going 2–7–1, 4–6 and 6–5 in Winslow's three years. Winslow resigned after three seasons.
Warren Woodson era (1952-1956)
In 1954, under coach Warren Woodson, who came to Arizona from Hardin-Simmons, the Wildcats were led by starting halfback Art Luppino. He went on to lead the nation in rushing, scoring, all-purpose running, and kickoff returns. Luppino became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing twice. He also tied for the national title in all-purpose running and was third in scoring.
Ed Doherty era (1957-1958)
Ed Doherty came to Arizona from his post as an assistant coach for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles. In two seasons, Doherty compiled a record of 4–15–1 before getting fired. Doherty is the only person to serve as head football coach at both Arizona and archrival Arizona State.
Jim LaRue era (1959-1966)
Jim LaRue, formerly running backs coach at Houston, was hired to take over the Arizona Wildcats football program as head coach after Doherty's firing. LaRue's 1961 team finished 8–1–1 and finished the season ranked #17 in the final AP Poll. After that season, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference and LaRue's teams posted records of 5–5, 5–5, 6–3–1, 3–7 and 3–7 before LaRue was fired, largely because of the sub-par on-the-field performances but also pressure from fans and alumni.
Darrell Mudra era (1967-1968)
Darrell Mudra came to Arizona from North Dakota State and breathed life into a seemingly lifeless Arizona football program. His first team posted a record of 3–6–1 but in his second year, Mudra's Wildcats posted a record of 8–3, capped with a loss in the 1968 Sun Bowl, only the Wildcats third bowl appearance in school history and first since 1949.
Mudra left Arizona after two seasons to accept the head football coach position at Western Illinois. His final record is 11–9–1. Mudra was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000.
Bob Weber era (1969-1972)
Bob Weber was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach following Mudra's departure. Under Weber, the Wildcats were 16–26, with their best season being a 5–6 1971 season. Weber failed to post a winning season as Arizona's head coach and was fired after four seasons.
Jim Young era (1973-1976)
Jim Young, formerly defensive coordinator at Michigan, was hired to turn around the downtrodden Wildcats football program. Improvement came immediately, as Young's team surprised the nation with an 8–3 record in his first season. Young's Wildcats went on to post records of 9–2 in 1974 and 1975, the latter ending with a #13 and #18 ranking in the Coaches' and AP Polls, respectively. In a rebuilding year, Young's team posted a 5–6 record in 1976 to cap Young's mark of 31–13 in four seasons.
Tony Mason era (1977-1979)
Tony Mason came to Arizona from Cincinnati. Under Mason, the Wildcats went 5–7, 5–6 and 6–5–1 for a grand total of 16–18–1. In Mason's third and final season, the Wildcats played in the Fiesta Bowl, a game they lost.
Mason retired as head coach after three seasons.
Larry Smith era (1980-1986)
Larry Smith, previously head coach at Tulane, was hired to take over the Arizona football program after Mason's retirement. His first season was Arizona's third in the Pac-12 Conference. Smith put great emphasis on in-state recruiting, built up the rivalry game with ASU, and focused the team on what he called "running and hitting". His first team went 5–6, including a 44–7 blowout loss to ASU; it would be his only losing season at Arizona. The highlight of the season was a 23-17 upset of 2nd ranked UCLA (the Bruins were poised to become #1 as top ranked Alabama had lost earlier in the day). The team improved to 6–5 during his second season, highlighted by a major 13–10 upset of #1 USC on the road. Under his leadership, the Wildcats became competitive in the conference, began dominating the rivalry with the Sun Devils, and culminated with consecutive bowl appearances in the 1985 Sun Bowl, where a tie with Georgia gave the Wildcats an 8–3–1 record, and the 1986 Aloha Bowl, where a victory over North Carolina allowed the Wildcats to finish with a 9–3 record in his final season.
Smith's tenure with the Wildcats ended with a 48–28–3 record. Seven Arizona players earned All-America honors during his tenure, including two-time consensus All-American linebacker Ricky Hunley and All-Americans linebacker Lamonte Hunley (Ricky's younger brother), Morris Trophy-winning center Joe Tofflemire, safety Allan Durden, placekicker Max Zendejas, linebacker Byron Evans, and safety Chuck Cecil. Over twenty of Smith's Wildcats players went on to play professionally.
Dick Tomey era (1987-2000)
Dick Tomey came to Arizona from Hawaii. During his tenure, he coached five future NFL first-round draft choices, 20 All-Americans, and 43 Pac-10 first team players. His best teams were in the mid-1990s, highlighted by a tenacious "Desert Swarm" defense. He led Arizona to the only two ten-win seasons in school history, highlighted by a 12–1 campaign in 1998, in which they finished fourth in both major polls, the highest ranking in school history. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were drubbed in the 1999 season opener against Penn State and never recovered; Tomey resigned after the 2000 season. His 95 wins are the most in Wildcats history.
In 1992, Coach Tomey's "Desert Swarm" defense was characterized by tough, hard-nosed tactics. UA led the nation in scoring defense and nose guard Rob Waldrop is a consensus All-American. In 1993, the team had its first 10-win season and beat the Miami Hurricanes in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl by a score of 29–0. It was the bowl game's only shutout in its then 23-year history. In 1994, Arizona was ranked #6. However, Arizona was stunned by Colorado State and the rest of the season went down along with it, continuing a streak of not being selected for the Rose Bowl. Arizona to this day, is the only team in the original Pac-10 that has never played in the Rose Bowl Game.
In 1998, the team posted a school-record 12–1 season and made the Holiday Bowl in which it defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Arizona ended that season ranked fourth nationally in the coaches and Associated Press poll. The 1998 Holiday Bowl was televised on ESPN and set the now-surpassed record of being the most watched of any bowl game in that network's history. In 2000, Tomey's Wildcats suffered a season-ending 30–17 loss to Arizona State, the Wildcats' primary arch-rival.
Dick Tomey resigned under pressure after fourteen seasons as head coach of the Wildcats. The Wildcat football declined in wins and went on a bowl game drought over the next several years.
John Mackovic era (2001-2003)
Former Illinois and Texas head coach and at that time ESPN football analyst John Mackovic was hired to replace Tomey. He served a disastrous tenure as head coach during this period; Mackovic alienated his players and never posted a winning record in two and one-half seasons in Tucson, with a 10–18 record (a .357 winning percentage).
Midway through the 2002 season, Mackovic told tight end Justin Levasseur that he was a disgrace to his family. This and other incidents led 40 players (including future Pro Bowler Lance Briggs) to hold a secret meeting with school president Peter Likins. The players complained about Mackovic's constant verbal abuse, such as an ugly tirade after a loss to Wisconsin. Mackovic offered a public apology to his players, the university and fans. However, whatever goodwill that he'd managed to restore quickly evaporated a season later; quarterback Nic Costa said that despite a very talented roster, many players had lost their love for the game due to Mackovic's brusque manner.
Five games into the 2003 season, Mackovic was fired and replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz. School officials said they had to act because it was obvious the Wildcats would not win with Mackovic at the helm.
Mike Stoops era (2004-2011)
In 2004, four years after Tomey's firing, Arizona hired Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops to take over the Wildcat program. Under Stoops, Arizona started 6–18; his job was in critical danger and his margin for error was very thin. However in his third season in 2006, Stoops led the Wildcats to an improved 6–6 record, the first non-losing season for the school since 1998 when the Wildcats went 12–1. In 2008, the Wildcats earned their first bowl berth in a decade, defeating BYU by a score of 31–21.
In 2009, the Wildcats earned their second straight bowl berth and a second straight eight-win season. On November 21, 2009, the Oregon Ducks came to Arizona Stadium in a game that would decide which team went to the Rose Bowl. ESPN's College GameDay crew dubbed it as the game of the week and ventured down to Tucson to cover it. After a back and forth battle, the Oregon Ducks won in double overtime 44–41 to clinch the Rose Bowl bid. Arizona was defeated 33–0 by Nebraska in a rematch of the 1998 Holiday Bowl.
Following the Holiday Bowl, offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes left the Wildcat program to become the head coach at Louisiana Tech, and defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, a brother of Mike, became the defensive coordinator at Florida State. To replace them, Mike Stoops promoted Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell to co-offensive coordinators, while promoting Tim Kish to be co-defensive coordinators with Greg Brown, who was hired from Colorado.
Midway through his eighth season, Stoops was fired as head coach on October 10, 2011, after starting the season 1–5 (the sole victory was against FCS Northern Arizona). Including the prior season, the Wildcats under Stoops had lost 10 consecutive games against FBS opponents, with their last victory over a FBS team taking place nearly a year earlier on October 30, 2010, against UCLA. Tim Kish, the team's defensive coordinator, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season. (Stoops returned to the Sooner program soon thereafter as defensive coordinator; Kish, who had known the Stoops brothers for many years, followed Stoops and joined the Sooner staff as the linebackers coach.)
Rich Rodriguez era (2012-present)
Rodriguez is considered a pioneer of a no huddle, run-oriented version of the spread offense, although a pass-first version was already being implemented by others. He first developed this offensive approach at Glenville State and refined it during his stops at Tulane with Shaun King, at Clemson with Woodrow Dantzler, and at West Virginia most notably with dual-threat quarterback Pat White. This strategy features frequent use of the shotgun formation. Rodriguez is also credited for inventing the zone read play run out of the shotgun formation.
According to his contract, Rodriguez will earn $1.45 million in his first year, $1.5 million in his second, $1.6 million in his third, $1.7 million in his fourth and $1.8 million in his fifth season for a total of $9.55 million over a span of five years. He will receive an extra $300,000 per year from Nike, as well as bonuses for academic achievement, BCS rankings, season ticket totals and bowl appearances. He will get extra bonuses for milestones such as playing in the BCS title game, playing in any other bowl, and for winning the Pac-12. The contract is subject to UA Board of Regents approval. Rodriguez' hiring ended a 41-day search for a head coach which started after Mike Stoops was dismissed after eight seasons as Wildcat head coach.
Following West Virginia's victory in the 2012 Orange Bowl, Mountaineers defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who coached under Rodriguez during his tenure there, departed WVU's staff to join Rodriguez' staff as the Wildcats' defensive coordinator. An official announcement, and Casteel's formal introduction to the Tucson media, was made on January 13, 2012. Casteel is considered one of the top defensive coaches in the nation, and considered master of the 3–3–5 "odd stack" defense.
|Rich Rodriguez||Head Coach||3||West Virginia (1986)|
|Calvin Magee||Associate Head Coach, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs||3||South Florida (1990)|
|Rod Smith||Co-Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks||3||Glenville State (1997)|
|Jeff Casteel||Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers||3||CALU (1993)|
|Matt Caponi||Safeties||3||Mount Union (2005)|
|Tony Dews||Wide Receivers||3||Liberty (1996)|
|Bill Kirelawich||Defensive Line||3||Salem (1969)|
|David Lockwood||Cornerbacks||3||West Virginia (1989)|
|Jim Michalczik||Offensive Line||2||Washington State (1988)|
|Charlie Ragle||Tight Ends, Special Teams||3||Eastern New Mexico (1998)|
|Matt Dudek||Director of On-Campus Recruiting and Player Personnel||3||Pittsburgh (2003)|
|Mike Parrish||Assistant Athletic Director, Football Operations||3||West Virginia (2006)|
|Billy Kirelawich||Assistant Director of Operations||3||West Virginia (2008)|
|Jahmile Addae||Operations Coordinator||2||West Virginia (2005)|
|Andrew Warsaw||Operations Coordinator||2||West Virginia (2009)|
|Chris Allen||Associate Athletic Director, Director of Strength and Conditioning||3||West Virginia (2000)|
|Parker Whiteman||Director of Skill Development||3||Shepherd (2006)|
|Vincent Amey||Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach||2||Arizona State (1998)|
|Frank Davis||Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach||3||South Florida (2009)|
|Ovid Goulbourne||Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach||2||West Virginia (2009)|
|Miek DiAngelo||Defensive Graduate Assistant||2||Baldwin Wallace (2006)|
|Reed Willams||Defensive Graduate Assistant||2||West Virginia (2009)|
|Lee Coleman||Offensive Graduate Assistant||2||Northwestern (2010)|
|Cory Zirbel||Offensive Graduate Assistant||3||Michigan (2009)|
|Miguel Reveles||Intern||2||La Verne (2010)|
|2014 Arizona Wildcats roster|
|2014 Arizona Wildcats roster from the University of Arizona Athletic Site|
Arizona has won 10 or more football games in a season only twice in its history, and not once this Millennium.
National championships in NCAA FBS college football are debated as the NCAA does not officially award the championship. Despite not naming an official National Champion, the NCAA provides lists of championships awarded by organizations it recognizes.
National championship seasons
The Pac-12 has been split into two divisions since the 2011 season.
Note: bold years indicate outright conference titles ***Co-Championship, shared with UCLA, who defeated Arizona by 20 points in their only head-to-head matchup. Arizona has yet to win an outright Pac-10/12 conference championship.
All-time record vs. current Pac-12 teams
See also: Arizona Wildcats football series records
Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits) against all current Pac-12 opponents as of the completion of the 2014 season:
Arizona is the only school of the original PAC 10/12 to never have participated in a Rose Bowl; the conference's major bowl game. For the full Arizona bowl game history, see List of Arizona Wildcats bowl games.
Overall bowl record: 9–9–1 (19 bowl games)
Logos and uniforms
Starting in the 2010 season, Arizona wore new uniforms. They are simplified versions of the uniforms worn from 2005–2009, with the addition of a white helmet with a red-white-blue stripe. The team may use any combination of its two helmets, three jerseys and three pants. On September 29, 2012 the Wildcats unveiled a new copper helmet and for the Territorial Cup game later that season, they unveiled an all-red helmet.
Game day traditions
Student-Athlete jerseys are retired but not individual player numbers.
College Football Hall of Famers
Alumni in NFL and CFL
Pac-12 North schedule misses
Each season Arizona will "miss" two schools from the Pac-12 North division: either Cal or Stanford and one of the four northwest schools. This scheduling cycle repeats after eight seasons.