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Arizona head coach candidates guide - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Arizona head coach candidates guide

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Arizona Football Head Coach Candidate Guide


Kevin Sumlin

Rumor: Several reports say that Sumlin and Arizona are interested in one another, but there has been no report of an interview or anything that would indicate later stages of the process.

Record: 86-43, 51-26 at his previous job - Texas A&M

The Good: Sumlin is a proven winner at a high level, and coached a Heisman winner in Johnny Manziel. He's had a winning record in 9 of the 10 seasons he's been a head coach and won 10 games three times - once at Texas A&M. Sumlin is an incredible recruiter who regularly had gave Texas A&M top 20 classes.

The Bad: Texas A&M was known to fall off in November, and Sumlin had 5 losses in each of the past 4 year after hot starts most of the seasons. Also, Sumlin has limited west coast ties.

Likelihood: If Arizona is willing to pony up the money, and Sumlin doesn't want to wait a year for a bigger opening - this seems like a good fit. Sumlin is the biggest name splash hire the Wildcats could possibly make.


Les Miles

Rumor: Several reports indicated mutual interest, but nothing more than that. Miles took the year off from coaching after LSU fired him in 2016.

Record: 141-55, 114-34 at his previous job - LSU

The Good: Les Miles is a big name coach who won at a high level at LSU. He won a national title, played in a second national title game and had seven 10-win seasons. Excellent recruiter. Eats grass.

The Bad: Toward the end of his LSU tenure, Miles struggled to put a good offense on the field despite having more talent than most of the teams he played against. 64 years old, with limited west coast ties. Eats grass.

Likelihood: Not very.



Neal Brown

Rumor: According to WSFA News in Alabama, and Arizona's 247Sports website Wildcat Authority, Arizona interviewed Neal Brown Monday.

Record: 25-13 at Troy

The Good: Young, energetic and has won 10+ games twice in his three seasons at Troy. Considered to be one of the hotter young candidates in coaching.

The Bad: Limited west coast ties, Arizona would also have to pay $3 million to buy him out of his current contract at Troy.

Likelihood: If reports that Brown interviewed are true, than the likelihood is obviously higher than those who haven't. The thinking has been that Arizona would rather hire an up-and-comer than spend a lot of money on a big name since they are on the hook for more than $6 million due to RichRod's buyout.


Beau Baldwin

Record: 85-32 at FCS level with Eastern Washington

Rumor: 247Sports Wildcat Authority reports that Arizona interviewed Baldwin Monday.

The Good: Baldwin is a respected coach who won an FCS National Title with Eastern Washington. He is the Cal offensive coordinator and has west coast ties. He's been a rumored head coaching candidate for various jobs in the region.

The Bad: Never been a head coach at the FBS level. One year as a coach in the FBS level. Not a "big name"/"splash" hire.

Likelihood: Again, if he interviewed, that raises his likelihood above those who haven't. West coast ties help and the lack of "big name" appeal could bring his price down.


Matt Wells

Record: 34-32 at Utah State

Rumor: Sources told News 4 Tucson that Wells was a name early in the process that Arizona had potential interest in. Since then, Wells hasn't been as much of a hot name.

The Good: Wells is a long time coordinator who got his shot as a head coach and responded by taking Utah State to four bowl games in 5 seasons. Logan, Utah isn't exactly the easiest place to recruit to - especially compared with Tucson.

The Bad: He's only 34-32 at a lower level job. Outside of hardcore college football fans, and those with a special interest in this year's Arizona Bowl, no one has really heard of him. He's not a splash hire.

Likelihood: Early in the process this seemed high, but has cooled down considerably.


Marcel Yates

Record: 0-0 - Never been a head coach

Rumor: Not really much in the way of rumors, but many of the players including star QB Khalil Tate have thrown their weight behind Yates. Many players have tweeted at Arizona AD in support of hiring Yates as full time head coach. Yates is the current interim head coach.

The Good: The players like him.

The Bad: Yates has never been a head coach at any level. Yates hasn't actually been particularly successful as defensive coordinator at Arizona - but this could be attributed to the fact he's had to run RichRod's 3-3-5 vs. Yates' own preferred 4-2-5.

Likelihood: Not very.


Chuck Cecil

Record: 0-0 - Never been a head coach

Rumor: Cecil is an Arizona alum, an Arizona legend and an Arizona fan favorite. Not to mention, he's currently on staff as a quality control coach. Hiring Cecil would placate some upset fans that would like to see a UA alum take the job.

The Good: Cecil has a lot of experience as a coach in the NFL, including as a defensive coordinator. He's a UA alum and a great personality.

The Bad: Cecil has never been a head coach, and has never been a college coach aside from this past year as a quality control coach. Cecil has to lead a team of recruiters as head coach, something he doesn't have much of a professional basis for.

Likelihood: Not very.

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