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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Assistant coaching search nearing end

Keith Hickman-Perfetti
Keith Hickman-Perfetti/Arizona Daily Wildcat Rich Rodriguez answers questions after his press conference to officially announce his appointment to the head coach of UA football, on 22 Nov. 2011. Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

As Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez continues through his first offseason at the helm of the Wildcat program, his coaching staff is beginning to take shape. The only Wildcat coach from last year’s staff being retained is offensive line coach Robert Anae, who joined then-head coach Mike Stoops’ staff in January 2011.

Despite a rough 2011 campaign for the Wildcats, the offensive line showed true progress under Anae. The O-line had only one player who had ever started a game before the season, center Kyle Quinn, and by season’s end it was able to mold into mature unit.

Here’s a look at some of the fresh faces that will be on the sidelines in 2012:


Rodriguez has decided to go with a co-coordinator system of the offensive side of the ball, hiring Calvin Magee and Rod Smith on Dec. 7.

Magee joins the Wildcats after a stint in 2011 as the assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, and he’s also slated to coach the running backs next season. Magee has coached under Rodriguez for a combined ten years — three at Michigan and seven at West Virginia.

In addition to his co-coordinator duties, Smith will take over the role of Arizona’s quarterbacks coach. Smith also worked under Rodriguez at both Michigan and West Virginia and has been credited with developing two of Rodriguez’s most dominant quarterbacks, Pat White at WVU and Denard Robinson at Michigan. Smith held the same two roles under head coach Kevin Wilson at Indiana last season.

Rounding out Rodriguez’s offensive coaching decisions thus far is receivers coach Tony Dews. Dews coached alongside Magee at Pitt last season as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. Like his colleagues, Dews coached with Rodriguez formerly at WVU and Michigan.


So far the only defensive coaching decision that has been confirmed has been safeties coach Tony Gibson, who came to Arizona from Pitt with Dews and Magee. Rodriguez has said that Gibson’s duties will involve transitioning the Arizona defensive backs into the 3-3-5 system — something Rodriguez has used throughout his coaching career.

As far as a defensive coordinator goes, West Virginia D-coordinator Jeff Casteel appears to be the top name on Rodriguez’s list. Casteel worked with Rodriguez during his entire time at West Virginia, and continued with the Mountaineers after Rodriguez’s departure.’s Anthony Gimino reported that Rodriguez hopes to have his decisions settled by the end of the week.

Other staff

Rodriguez appointed Chris Allen as associate director of athletics for strength and conditionings. Allen, like a majority of his colleagues spent time under Rodriguez at both West Virginia and Michigan in a similar capacity.

Joining Allen will be Parker Whiteman, who will take over as director of skill development and assistant strength coach, and Frank Davis as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.

Charlie Ragle, who will join Rodriguez’s squad after coaching Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., to three straight state 5A II championships, has been chosen as the assistant director of football operations and the coaching staff’s liaison for high school relations.

Rounding out the current staff list is Matt Dudek, who has been named the director of on-campus recruiting after serving as the assistant director of football operations at Rutgers last season.

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