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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona’s Red Raider offense

Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Alan Walsh
Alan Walsh / Arizona Daily Wildcat

For members of the 2005 Texas Tech University football team’s offensive unit, Arizona’s current offense may seem familiar.

Four of the five offensive coaches on the current Wildcats’ staff were Red Raider coaches four years ago, including offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes. From an Arizona fan’s perspective, this is positive, considering Texas Tech has found itself in bowl games each of the last nine years.

Since Dykes made the move to Tucson, a steady migration of coaches from Lubbock, Texas, has occurred. Outside receivers coach Dave Nichol joined the Wildcats’ staff during Dykes’ inaugural season in 2007 after serving as a graduate assistant coach for both Texas Tech and Baylor University. Offensive line and running backs coach Bill Bedenbaugh joined the pair the following season, giving the Arizona offense an even stronger Texas Tech influence.

Bedenbaugh said the familiarity among the coaches has made things run much more smoothly.

“”We know what each other is thinking and we know what the best plays are for each individual and things like that,”” Bedenbaugh said. “”So it just makes things that much easier.””

Dykes’ most recent addition to the Wildcat family of Texas Tech alums is tight end and running backs coach Seth Littrell. For the last four years, Littrell coached the Red Raiders’ running backs and helped the team to bowl games in each of the last four seasons.

The three familiar faces on the Arizona offensive staff certainly contributed to of Littrell’s decision. However, Littrell also cited the overall state of the program as a factor.

Since coming to Arizona, Littrell has inherited a wealth of talent at the running back position in addition to a potential All-America selection in tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The first-year coach also said that the positive attitude of the entire coaching staff stood out with his new team.

“”There’s no egos on this staff, which is great,”” Littrell said. “”You don’t always get that in this profession. But the overall feel and how everyone is working to help each other out is just great. It’s really a great environment here … and having those familiar faces is nice as well.””

While Dykes could not quite fill his entire staff with fellow Red Raider alums, he did manage to fill the final offensive coaching position with yet another former coworker.

After former receivers coach Michael Smith left after the 2008 season to join the Kansas State University staff — along with co-offensive coordinator Dana Dimel — Garret Chachere came to Arizona. The addition reunited Chachere with Dykes; the two were coaches on the Northeast Louisiana University squad in 1998.

Chachere — who has taken over coaching the inside receivers — said while Dykes was a motivating factor in coming to Arizona, the relationship did not necessarily land him the job.

“”I did have a pretty good relationship with coach Dykes,”” Chachere said. “”But really it’s (head) coach (Mike) Stoops’ ship and he makes all the calls, so even though I was close with coach Dykes, it was Stoops I was looking to impress. So far it’s turned out really well.””

While Dykes has appeared to have aligned his army with a red and black influence — other than Chachere — Stoops has apparently put his Big 12 Conference biases aside despite formerly coaching and currently having his brother, Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach Bob Stoops, coaching at the Red Raiders’ rival school.

“”(I) think you’re looking for a (coach) that fits your style of coaching,”” Stoops said. “”The style of personalities, I think, is more important than anything to fit into the scheme of what you’re doing philosophy-wise and I think these guys do.

“”They know their roles, and they do them well.””

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