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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football is set to welcome Brent Brennan as its next head coach

Arizona football is set to have its 31st head coach in program history
Courtesy Mike Christy Arizona Athletics
Arizona’s new football head coach Brent Brennan in a n introductory press conference in McKale Center on Tuesday Jan. 16. Brennan is coming to the UA from San Jose State University and will be the 31 head coach for Wildcats.

After a swift two-day search, former San Jose State University head coach Brent Brennan is set to become the 31st head coach of the Arizona football team. The news emerged on the evening of Jan. 15, indicating that Brennan had been offered the position. 

Then today, Tuesday, Jan. 16, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel and 247 Sports’ Jason Scheer, the Arizona Wildcats have reportedly reached a five-year agreement with Brennan to appoint him as the next head football coach.

The 50-year-old Brennan will take the reins of a Wildcats team that concluded the previous season with a 10-3 record, an Alamo Bowl victory over No. 12 University of Oklahoma and securing a No. 11 ranking in the final Associated Press Top 25. This ranking marked the program’s highest in nine years and tied for the second-highest in a final poll, behind the No. 4 finish following the 1998 season when the Wildcats went 12-1. However, coupled with this decision, Arizona lost its defensive coordinator, Johnny Nansen to the University of Texas and former head coach, Jedd Fisch to the University of Washington. The coaching change now allows more Arizona players to decide whether to stay and see what Brennan has in store or enter the transfer portal, as some have already done.

The decision to appoint Brennan as head coach follows a competitive selection process, with University of California, Berkeley head coach Justin Wilcox, former defensive coordinator Johnny Nansen and former offensive coordinator for the University of Alabama, Tommy Rees, all considered for the role.

Brennan began his coaching journey as a graduate assistant at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Washington and Arizona. His experience includes a stint as a graduate assistant during the Wildcats’ final year under head coach Dick Tomey. He later served as the receivers coach at California Polytechnic State University from 2001-04 before joining San Jose State from 2005-10, where he held various coaching positions.

Brennan had a brief stint at Oregon State University from 2011-16, coaching standout Brandin Cooks, who won the Fred Biletnikoff Award in 2013. Returning to San Jose State, he led the Spartans to three bowl game appearances in the last four years, marking a significant achievement for the program.

In 2020, Brennan guided the Spartans to a 7-1 record, securing their first Mountain West Conference championship. Despite a less inspiring 2021 season with a 5-7 finish, Brennan bounced back with two consecutive seven-win seasons in 2022 and 2023.

With a 34-48 record as a head coach at San Jose State, Brennan’s consistent performance in recent years made him a standout candidate for the Arizona job. He was previously a finalist for the position in 2020 before the school ultimately chose Fisch.

Brennan’s ties to Arizona include an interview for the head coaching position after Kevin Sumlin’s departure in 2020. While his connections may not be extensive, his coaching prowess and recent success make him a compelling choice for the Wildcats’ head coaching role.

Brennan’s appointment signals a new chapter for Arizona football, bringing in an experienced coach with a proven track record.

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