Arizona Wildcats football

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Arizona Wildcats football
2017 Arizona Wildcats football team
Arizona Wildcats logo.svg
First season 1899; 118 years ago (1899)
Athletic director Dave Heeke
Head coach Rich Rodriguez
6th season, 43–32 (.573)
Other staff See Coaching staff section
Stadium Arizona Stadium
(Capacity: 55,675[1])
Year built 1927
Field surface FieldTurf
Location Tucson, Arizona
NCAA division Division I FBS
Conference Pac-12 (since 1978)
Division South (since 2011)
Past conferences Independent (1899–1930)
Border (1931–1961)
WAC (1962–1977)
All-time record 608–455–33 (.570)
Bowl record 9–10–1 (.475)
Conference titles 6 (1933, 1934, 1941, 1964, 1973, 1993)
Division titles 1 (2014)
Rivalries Arizona State (rivalry)
New Mexico (rivalry)
Consensus All-Americans 16[2]
Current uniform
Arizwildcats uniforms13.png
Colors Cardinal and Navy[3]
Fight song Fight! Wildcats! Fight!
Mascot Wilbur the Wildcat
Marching band The Pride of Arizona
Outfitter Nike

The Arizona Wildcats football program represents the University of Arizona in the sport of American college football. Arizona competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12). The Wildcats are currently led by head coach Rich Rodriguez.

Arizona officially began competing in intercollegiate football in 1889. The school joined the Pac-10 Conference in 1978 alongside rival Arizona State, and became a member of the Pac-12 South Division when the conference realigned in 2011. Arizona has won six conference championships, including the 1993 Pac-10 title, and have appeared in 38 bowl games.

Arizona's home stadium is Arizona Stadium, which opened in 1939 and has a capacity of 55,675. Arizona's archrival is in-state foe Arizona State Sun Devils. The Wildcats and Sun Devils meet annually in the Territorial Cup.

At the completion of the 2017 season, Arizona's all-time record is 607–455–33. With the recent tenure of Rich Rodriguez starting in 2012, the Wildcats have compiled a 42–32 record including 3 bowl wins.


Early history (1899–1951)[edit]

Coach Skinner

The varsity football program at the University of Arizona began in 1899, though the Wildcats nickname was not adopted until later.[4][5] Stuart Forbes became the first head coach of Arizona football history and the team compiled a 1–1–1 record.[6] From 1900 to 1901, William W. Skinner served as head football coach at the University of Arizona.[7] While there, he also studied geology. He guided Arizona to 3–1 and 4–1 records, respectively.[7] On November 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".[8] Pop McKale was a very successful high school coach in the Tucson area when he was hired at UA.[9] 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."[10] 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.[9]

Fred Enke replaced McKale as head coach of the Wildcats and in one season as head coach, he posted a record of 3–5–1[11] before getting demoted to assistant coach. Gus Farwick served as the head football coach at the University of Arizona in 1932, compiling a record of 4–5[12] before his resignation. Tex Oliver coached the Arizona Wildcats to a 32–11–4 record in five seasons.[13] During that stretch, his teams never had a losing season.[13] 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.[13] Oliver resigned after the 1937 season to accept the head football coach position at Oregon.[14]

Orian Landreth replaced Oliver and struggled in his one season as head coach, compiling a 3–6 record[15] before he was fired. That season was the first losing season for the Wildcats in several years. 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.[16] 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.[17] Winslow resigned after three seasons.

Warren Woodson (1952–1956)[edit]

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.[18] Luppino became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing twice.[18] He also tied for the national title in all-purpose running and was third in scoring.[18] Woodson was replaced after five seasons and a 26–22–2 record[19] and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1989.

Ed Doherty (1957–1958)[edit]

Ed Doherty came to Arizona from his post as an assistant coach for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.[20] In two seasons, Doherty compiled a record of 4–15–1[21] before getting fired. Doherty is the only person to serve as head football coach at both Arizona and archrival Arizona State.

Jim LaRue (1959–1966)[edit]

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.[22] 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.[22][23]

Darrell Mudra (1967–1968)[edit]

Coach Mudra

Darrell Mudra came to Arizona from North Dakota State and breathed life into a seemingly lifeless Arizona football program.[24] 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.[25] Mudra left Arizona after two seasons to accept the head football coach position at Western Illinois.[26] His final record is 11–9–1.[24] Mudra was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000.[24]

Bob Weber (1969–1972)[edit]

Bob Weber was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach following Mudra's departure.[27] Under Weber, the Wildcats were 16–26, with their best season being a 5–6 1971 season.[28] Weber failed to post a winning season as Arizona's head coach and was fired after four seasons.

Jim Young (1973–1976)[edit]

Jim Young, formerly defensive coordinator at Michigan, was hired to turn around the downtrodden Wildcats football program.[29] Improvement came immediately, as Young's team surprised the nation with an 8–3 record in his first season.[30] 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.[30] 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.[30] Young departed Arizona after the 1976 season to accept the head football coach position at Purdue.[31] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999.

Tony Mason (1977–1979)[edit]

Tony Mason came to Arizona from Cincinnati.[32] Under Mason, the Wildcats went 5–7, 5–6 and 6–5–1 for a grand total of 16–18–1.[33] In Mason's third and final season, the Wildcats played in the Fiesta Bowl, a game they lost.[33] Mason retired as head coach after three seasons.[34]

Larry Smith (1980–1986)[edit]

Larry Smith, previously head coach at Tulane, was hired to take over the Arizona football program after Mason's retirement.[35] 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).[36] The team improved to 6–5 during his second season, highlighted by a major 13–10 upset of #1 USC on the road.[37] 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.[36] 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.[36] Smith departed after the 1986 season to accept the head football coach position at USC.[38]

Dick Tomey era (1987–2000)[edit]

Coach Tomey circa 1973

Dick Tomey came to Arizona from Hawaii.[39] 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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] The Wildcat football declined in wins and went on a bowl game drought over the next several years.

John Mackovic (2001–2003)[edit]

Former Illinois and Texas head coach John Mackovic was hired to replace Tomey.[43] Tomey had been serving as a college football analyst at ESPN at the time of his hiring.

Mackovic served a disastrous tenure as head coach during this period; he 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).[44] 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.[45][46]

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.[47] School officials said they had to act because it was obvious the Wildcats would not win with Mackovic at the helm.[48]

Mike Stoops (2004–2011)[edit]

In 2004, Arizona hired Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, brother of famed Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops, to take over the Wildcat football program.[49] Under Stoops, Arizona started 6–18;[50] 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,[50] 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.[51] In 2009, the Wildcats earned their second straight bowl berth and a second straight eight-win season.[50] 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.[52] Arizona was defeated 33–0 by Nebraska in a rematch of the 1998 Holiday Bowl.[50][53] Following the Holiday Bowl, offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes left the Wildcat program to become the head coach at Louisiana Tech,[54] and defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, a brother of Mike, became the defensive coordinator at Florida State.[55] 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).[56] 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.[57] (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.)[58]

Rich Rodriguez (2012–present)[edit]

Coach Rich Rodriguez

On November 21, 2011, Arizona announced the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, at that time a CBS Sports college football analyst and formerly head coach at Michigan and West Virginia, to replace Stoops.[59] 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.[60][61][62] 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 was scheduled to 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.[63] The contract also includes an extra $300,000 per year from Nike, as well as bonuses for academic achievement, BCS rankings, season ticket totals and bowl appearances. There are extra bonuses for milestones such as playing in the BCS title game, playing in any other bowl, and for winning the Pac-12.[64]

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.[65] 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.[66]

In his first season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, where they defeated Nevada.[67] The Wildcats finished the 2012 campaign with a (8–5, 4–5 Pac-12) record.[67]

In his second season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl, where they defeated Boston College.[68] The Wildcats finished the 2013 campaign with a (8–5, 4–5 Pac-12) record.

In 2014, Rich Rodriguez led the Wildcats to a 10-3 regular season, behind generally solid team performance, including efforts from freshman QB Anu Solomon, sophomore LB Scooby Wright (who earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year among other honors), senior RB Terris Jones-Grigsby and freshman RB Nick Wilson. The Wildcats won the Pac-12 South Division, the first divisional championship in program history, advancing to the 2014 Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where they were defeated by the Oregon Ducks, 51-13.[69] The Wildcats earned a berth in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, the school's third major-bowl appearance, where they faced the Boise State Broncos. Arizona lost the game to Boise State, 38–30. The Wildcats finished the 2014 season with a record of 10–4 (7–2 Pac-12), achieving only the second 10-win regular season in program history; the Wildcats also finished the season ranked #17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #19 in the AP Poll.

In his fourth year as the head coach, Rodriguez's Wildcats finished with a record of 7–6 (3–6 Pac-12).[70] In his sixth season as the head coach of the Wildcats.


Coaching staff[edit]

Name Position Consecutive season at
Arizona in current position
Rich Rodriguez Head coach 6th year
Calvin Magee Assistant Head Coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator/Running backs 6th year
Rod Smith Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach 6th year
Vince Amey Defensive Line coach 2nd year
Marcel Yates Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs coach 2nd year
Brian Knorr Tight ends Coach and Special Teams Coordinator 1st year
Theron Aych Assistant Coach and Wide Receivers 1st year
Scott Boone Assistant Coach and Linebackers 1st year
Jamille Addae Assistant Coach and Safeties 2nd year
Jim Michalczik Assistant Coach and OL 4th year
Chuck Cecil General Manager and Player Personnel Director 1st year
Chris Allen Associate Athletic Director, Co-Strength/Conditioning Coach 6th year
Troy Ramsey Assistant Coach and Co-Strength/Conditioning 4th year
Ovid Goulbourne Assistant Coach and Strength/Conditioning 5th year
Brett Gerch Assistant Coach and Co-Strength/Conditioning 4th year

Head coaching history[edit]

The current head coach of Arizona Wildcats football is Rich Rodriguez who hired in 2012.

Years Coach Record
1899 Stuart Forbes 1–1–1
1900–1901 William W. Skinner 7–2
1902 Leslie Gillette 5–0
1904 Orin A. Kates 3–1–2
1905 William M. Ruthrauff 5–2
1908–1909 H. B. Galbraith 8–1
1910–1911 George F. Shipp 8–1–1
1912 Raymond L. Quigley 2–1
1913 Frank A. King 2–2
1914–1930 Pop McKale 81–32–6
1931 Fred Enke 3–5–1
1932 August W. Farwick 4–5
1933–1937 Tex Oliver 32–11–4
1938 Orian Landreth 3–6
1939–1948 Miles W. Casteel 46–26–3
1949–1951 Robert Winslow 12–18–1
1952–1956 Warren B. Woodson 26–22–2
1957–1958 Ed Doherty 4–15–1
1959–1966 Jim LaRue 41–37–2
1967–1968 Darrell Mudra 11–9–1
1969–1972 Bob Weber 16–26
1973–1976 Jim Young 31–13
1977–1979 Tony Mason 16–18–1
1980–1986 Larry Smith 48–28–3
1987–2000 Dick Tomey 95–64–4
2001–2003 John Mackovic 10–18
2003 Mike Hankwitz 1–6
2004–2011 Mike Stoops 41–50
2011 Tim Kish 3–3
2012–present Rich Rodriguez 43–32
Totals Coaches Seasons Wins Losses Ties Pct.
1899–2017 30 118 608 455 33 .569

Coaching Records:[73]

Year by year results[edit]


Conference championships[edit]

Dating back to their days in the Western Athletic Conference, Arizona has claimed at least a share of six conference titles.

Arizona Conference Championships
Season Conference Coach Conference Record Overall Record
1935 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tex Oliver 4–0 7–2
1936 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association Oliver 3–0–1 5–2–3
1941 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association Miles W. Casteel 5–0 7–3
1964dagger Western Athletic Conference Jim LaRue 3–1 6–3–1
1973dagger Western Athletic Conference Jim Young 6–1 8–3
1993dagger Pacific-10 Dick Tomey 6–2 10–2
Conference Championships 6
dagger Denotes co-champions

Divisional championships[edit]

In 2014, the Wildcats won the South Division and also became the first team to do so outright.

Arizona Divisional Championships
Season Division Coach Conf Record Overall Record Championship Game Result Opponent
2014 Pac-12 South Rich Rodriguez 7–2 10–2 L 13–51 Oregon
Division Championships 1

Bowl games[edit]

This is a partial list of the ten most recent bowl games Arizona competed in. For the full Arizona bowl game history, see

Arizona football teams have participated in 20 total bowls and have garnered a record of 9–10–1 (.475). Arizona ranks 16th in all-time bowl appearances with 20, 10th in all-time bowl wins with 9, and 5th in all-time bowl win percentage at .475. On December 30, 2015, Arizona beat the New Mexico Lobos in the New Mexico Bowl with a score of 45–37.

Date (Season) Bowl W/L Opponent PF PA Notes
December 26, 1921 (1921) Christmas Classic L Centre (D-III) 0 38
January 1, 1949 (1949) Salad Bowl L Drake (FCS) 13 14
December 28, 1968 (1968) Sun Bowl L Auburn 34 10
December 25, 1979 (1979) Fiesta Bowl L Pittsburgh 16 10
December 16, 1985 (1985) Sun Bowl T Georgia 13 13
December 28, 1986 (1986) Aloha Bowl W North Carolina 30 21
December 31, 1989 (1989) Copper Bowl W NC State 17 10
December 25, 1990 (1990) Aloha Bowl L Syracuse 28 0
December 31, 1992 (1992) Sun Bowl L Baylor 20 15
January 1, 1994 (1993) Fiesta Bowl* W Miami 29 0 Bowl Coalition
December 27, 1994 (1994) Freedom Bowl L Utah 16 13
December 20, 1997 (1997) Bowl W New Mexico 20 14
December 30, 1998 (1998) Holiday Bowl W Nebraska 23 20
December 20, 2008 (2008) Las Vegas Bowl W BYU 31 21
December 30, 2009 (2009) Holiday Bowl L Nebraska 33 0
December 29, 2010 (2010) Alamo Bowl L Oklahoma State 36 10
December 15, 2012 (2012) New Mexico Bowl W Nevada 49 48
December 31, 2013 (2013) AdvoCare V100 Bowl W Boston College 42 19
December 31, 2014 (2014) Fiesta Bowl** L Boise State 30 38 CFP's New Year Six
December 19, 2015 (2015) New Mexico Bowl W New Mexico 45 37
Total 20 bowl games 9–10–1 (.475)

* denotes Bowl Coalition game. ** denotes New Year's Six Bowl game.


Arizona State[edit]

The main rivalry for the Wildcats are the Arizona State Sun Devils. The rivalry consists of two schools within the state of Arizona and Pac-12 South Division. The "Duel in the Desert", the name of yearly matchup the two schools. Starting in 1899, the Wildcats lost the first matchup 11–2. Arizona won the most recent 2016 meeting 56–35 in Tucson. Arizona currently leads the series at 49–40–1.

New Mexico[edit]

A major rival of the Wildcats in the 1900s was against the New Mexico Lobos. The series was intense until the annual matchup was canceled after the 1990 season. Arizona won the 2015 meeting 45-37 at 2015 New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque. Arizona leads[when?] the head-to-head series at 44–20–3.

Logos and uniforms[edit]

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.

On September 20, 2015, the Wildcats unveiled a new "chrome red" helmet which they will wear in their game on September 26, 2015 against the UCLA Bruins.

Individual accomplishments[edit]

National winners[edit]

Conference awards[edit]

Heisman voting[edit]

Scooby Wright – 2014 (9th)

Hall of Fame Wildcats[edit]

College Football Hall of Fame[edit]

Player Pos. Ind. Career
Tedy Bruschi LB 2013 1991–1995
Chuck Cecil DB 2009 1984–1987
Ricky Hunley LB 1997 1980–1983
Darrell Mudra HC 2000 1967–1968
Warren B. Woodson HC 1989 1952–1956
Jim Young HC 1999 1973–1976
Rob Waldrop DL 2011 1990–1993

Canadian Football Hall of Fame[edit]

The following players are members of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Player Pos. Years CFL Team(s) Induction
Ted Urness Center 1958–60 Saskatchewan Roughriders (1961–70) 1989
Terry Vaughn Wide receiver 1990–93 Calgary Stampeders (1995–98)
Edmonton Eskimos (1999–2004)
Montreal Alouettes (2005)
Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2006)

Records against teams[edit]

Updated through the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Official record (including any NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits violations) against the current football members of the Pac-12 Conference as of the completions of the 2017 season. Arizona's all-time win record is 601–552–33, has won 6 conference championships and has made an NCAA-record 20 postseason bowl appearances. Other NCAA records include 2 10-game or more winning streaks and 2 seasons with a 10–0 start. The program has 2 10-win seasons and has 9 bowl victories, both NCAA records. Arizona has completed zero undefeated seasons, zero of which were perfect seasons. The Wildcats leads the Pac-12 South Division with one division title and played the first appearance in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game in 2014.

All-time record vs. current Pac-12 teams[edit]

School All-Time Record Percentage Streak
Arizona State 49–40–1 .550 Won 1
California 17–14–2 .545 Won 4
Colorado 6–14 .300 Won 1
Oregon 16–25 .390 Lost 1
Oregon State 23–15–1 .603 Won 1
Stanford 14–16 .467 Lost 4
UCLA 16–24–2 .405 Won 1
USC 8–32 .200 Lost 4
Utah 19–22–1 .464 Lost 2
Washington 11–21–1 .348 Lost 2
Washington State 27–16 .628 Won 1

Official record against all current and former conference opponents of the Arizona Wildcats football program. In their 122–123 year history, the University of Arizona has been a member Border Intercollegiate Athletc Association, Western Athletic Conference, and then called Pacific-10 and currently the Pac-12 Conference. The History section of the Pac-12 Conference article provides a membership history of the Pac-12 Conference. Current as of the 2017 season.[80]

Future opponents[edit]

Non-division conference opponents[edit]

Arizona plays Oregon as a permanent non-division opponent annually and rotates around the North division among the other six schools. Each season Arizona will "miss" six 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.[81]

2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
California at Stanford Stanford at California California
at Oregon State Oregon State at Oregon State at Oregon Oregon
Oregon at Washington Washington at Washington Washington
at Washington State at Oregon Oregon Washington State at Washington State

Non-conference opponents[edit]

Announced non-conference schedules as of November 27, 2016.[82]

Future Arizona Wildcats Football Schedule
Season Date Opponent Site
2019 August 24 at Hawaii Aloha StadiumHonolulu, HI
September 7 Northern Arizona (FCS) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 14 Texas Tech (P5) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2020 September 5 Hawaii Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 12 Portland State (FCS) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 19 at Texas Tech (P5) Jones AT&T StadiumLubbock, Texas
2021 September 2 vs BYU* Sam Boyd StadiumLas Vegas (Catcus Kickoff)
September 11 San Diego State Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2022 September 3 at San Diego State Qualcomm StadiumSan Diego
September 10 Mississippi State (P5) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 17 North Dakota State (FCS) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2023 TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 9 at Mississippi State (P5) Davis Wade StadiumStarkville, Mississippi
September 16 UTEP Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2024 TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 14 at Kansas State (P5) Bill Snyder Family StadiumManhattan, Kansas
2025 August 30 at Hawaii Aloha Stadium • Honolulu, HI
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 13 Kansas State (P5) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2026 TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 12 at BYU LaVell Edwards StadiumProvo, Utah
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2027 September 4 at Colorado State Colorado State StadiumFort Collins, Colorado
September 11 BYU Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2028 September 2 Colorado State Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 9 TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 16 at Nebraska (P5) Memorial StadiumLincoln, Nebraska
September 8 Virginia Tech (P5) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
2030 August 30 at Virginia Tech Lane StadiumBlacksburg, Virginia
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
TBD TBD Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
September 13 Nebraska (P5) Arizona Stadium • Tucson, Arizona
  • Neutral site game
  • The 2021 game against BYU will be part of the Catcus Kickoff held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada[83]
  • (P5) Is to denote if a schools is a Power 5 Conference/Notre Dame opponent.
  • (FCS) Is for Football Championship Subdivision Teams.


Arizona Stadium[edit]

Arizona plays its home games at Arizona Stadium, located on the campus in Tucson, Arizona.

Lowell-Stevens Football Facility[edit]

The 187,000 square foot facility houses the football programs weight room, locker room, medical treatment room, players lounge, cafeteria, coaches' offices, auditorium for team meetings, as well as a media room.[84] The facility also offers 4,200 chair seating, as well as 500 premium seating.[85]


  • At the beginning of each school year, freshmen repaint the "A" on "A" Mountain, a Tucson and Wildcat landmark just west of campus.
  • One of the two bells rescued from the USS Arizona after the attack on Pearl Harbor has a permanent home in the clock tower of the Student Union Memorial Center on campus. The bell first arrived on campus in July 1946. The bell is rung seven times on the third Wednesday of every month at 12:07 p.m. to honor the achievements of the UA, as well as after football victories over all schools located outside of Arizona.
  • The University of Arizona marching band, named The Pride of Arizona, played at the halftime of the first Super Bowl. The band plays at most of the university's athletic events.

History of Bear Down, Arizona![edit]

In 1952 Jack K. Lee, an applicant for the UA's band directorship, departed Tucson by air following an interview with UA administration. From his airplane window, Lee observed the huge letters on the roof of the UA gymnasium reading "BEAR DOWN". Inspired, Lee scribbled down what was at first a poem, but later turned into a song. By the time his plane landed, he had virtually finished it. A few weeks later Lee was named the UA band director, and in September 1952, the UA band performed "Bear Down, Arizona!" in public for the first time. Soon thereafter, "Bear Down, Arizona!" became accepted as UA's fight song despite the fact that the Chicago Bears fight song, "Bear Down, Chicago Bears", was introduced in 1941.

History behind the motto Bear Down[edit]

The battle cry was created by a popular student athlete, John "Button" Salmon, who was the student body president, as well as the starting quarterback for the Wildcat football team and the catcher for the Wildcat baseball team.

The day before the first game of the 1926 football season, Salmon and three friends were involved in an automobile accident and their vehicle flipped over a ravine. Although Salmon's friends were not injured, Salmon suffered a severe spinal cord injury.

In the aftermath of the accident, football coach Pop McKale visited him in the hospital every day. During McKale's last visit, Salmon's last message to his teammates was, "Tell them...tell the team to bear down." John Salmon died on October 18, 1926.

The following year, the University of Arizona student body approved that "Bear Down" would be the new slogan for all Wildcat athletic teams. In 1939, the Arizona state legislature issued a decree that "Bear Down" would be the exclusive property of the University of Arizona.

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]