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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Livengood pleased with Wildcats’ season

    Following Arizona’s 31-10 dismissal of ASU Saturday night in Arizona Stadium, a game in which head coach Mike Stoops secured his first winning record and a trip to the Las Vegas Bowl, UA athletic director Jim Livengood couldn’t help but smile.

    As fans exited after storming the field in what was certainly one of the biggest wins for Stoops in his tenure at the helm of the Wildcats, Livengood stood on Arizona’s logo at midfield and took pictures and greeted fans.

    In a time that hasn’t been very happy for Arizona football, particularly over the course of the past decade, Livengood finally got the chance to step back and enjoy what he saw on the field – and perhaps what could be ahead for the Arizona football program.

    “”It was a great night. Holy cow, it was a great night for all of us,”” Livengood said with a vibrant smile. “”You would like to say that everything was scripted; after the first half everyone was wondering what was going on, then from how we played in the second half to the score – everything.””

    With Arizona’s first bowl game since 1998 looming within the next two weeks, some whispers of a contract extension for Stoops have been talked about, but Livengood declined to comment on such assertions.

    But with speculation prior to the game that Stoops’ job could be in jeopardy if the Wildcats somehow fell to the Sun Devils, players on the team were certainly fired up to defend their head coach.

    “”Most importantly, I am glad we got a bowl because hearing things like Coach Stoops might get fired, stuff like that, we try not to pay attention to it because it takes a toll on us,”” said safety Cam Nelson. “”People think that we just come and play football but we hear things and we think about stuff like that and we take it to heart, so we tried to come out and give it our all (Saturday night).””

    Livengood has always maintained his support for Stoops, saying early in the week he was behind the head coach whether or not the Wildcats won or lost Saturday.

    Luckily for Livengood, that’s not something he needs to worry about anymore. Instead, the athletic director can take in the excitement about the bowl berth.

    “”(The Las Vegas Bowl) is obviously a great bowl. It will be fun for our kids, and BYU will be the opponent, so it will be a great opponent, great TV exposure, and just great for our program,”” Livengood said. “”The nice thing about it is, in some ways, we still have two weeks, but it is kind of like playing another game with a bye week.

    “”It is accessible to get to, the fact that we are going to have a basketball game there earlier that afternoon against the (Nevada-Las Vegas) Rebels,”” Livengood added. “”It was almost like everything lined up like, ‘Wow, this was kind of meant to be.'””

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