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The Daily Wildcat


Get to know the Arizona coaches in charge this fall

Carmen Valencia
Newly hired head football coach, Kevin Sumlin, shakes hands with athletic director Dave Heeke during the press conference held this Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Editor’s note: This article was produced as part of the Daily Wildcat‘s 2018 Campus Guide — the perfect resource for any incoming Wildcat. Whether you’re trying to find important dates, looking for a club to join or are interested in UA history and traditions, we’ll be there to help you get through your first semester. Welcome to the University of Arizona!  

The fall season is undoubtedly an amazing time in Tucson. From new beginnings in college to the start of a plethora of sports seasons, the fall semester does not disappoint.

Here’s a guide to some of University of Arizona’s top head coaches, who will hopefully lead teams to victory this fall.

Football: Kevin Sumlin

At the start of the new year, Arizona Athletics made its hiring of head football coach Kevin Sumlin official, to the excitement of Arizona fans everywhere. 

Sumlin is the former head coach of Texas A&M, where he led the program for six seasons.

Sumlin will replace Rich Rodriguez, who was released from Arizona Athletics earlier this year. He will join an Arizona football team led by Khalil Tate, who threw 1,591 yards and ran 1,411 as a sophomore in 2017.

        RELATED: Commentary: Mid-summer Arizona football recruiting review

Current university president, Dr. Robert Robbins, was impressed by Sumlin’s ability to stay calm and collected at all times, especially during press conferences.

The home opener for Arizona football is scheduled for Sept. 1, 2018 against Brigham Young University. 

Coming off a 7-6 record, UA aims to improve its record and regain control of the state after dropping the Territorial Cup game 42-30 this past season against ASU.

Arizona football is excited to see where Sumlin will lead the team in the near future.

Men’s Basketball: Sean Miller

After gaining fame as one of the nations best young basketball coaches during his time at Xavier University; Sean Miller has cemented his place among the top coaches in college basketball during his time in Tucson.

Miller has established Arizona as the top team in the Pac-12 conference without compromising his integrity.

        RELATED: Arizona basketball 2018-2019 schedule is complete

In his nine seasons in Tucson, Miller has guided UA to five regular season conference championships and three conference tournament titles.

Miller has established a culture of basketball in Tucson that has developed his team into “a players program.”

Women’s Basketball: Adia Barnes

Head coach Adia Barnes was introduced as Arizona’s head women’s basketball coach in 2016.

The leading scorer in Arizona women’s basketball history and a WNBA Champion, Barnes came to Tucson after serving as an assistant coach at the University of Washington for five seasons.

In addition to a playing and coaching career, Barnes has been extremely active in the community by means of the Adia Barnes Foundation, which mentors under-served youth and hosts charitable events and community service projects in the area.

Volleyball: Dave Rubio

Arizona volleyball coach Dave Rubio enters his twenty-seventh season as the head of the program.

In 26 seasons at the helm of the Arizona program, Rubio has led the Wildcats to 19 NCAA Tournament appearances, which have included a trip to the Final Four, four Elite Eight appearances and eight trips to the Sweet 16, most recently in 2016.

Rubio has been able to change Arizona volleyball for the better. As the head coach, he has turned the program into one that demands conference and national attention.

Women’s Soccer: Tony Amato

Tony Amato will begin his sixth season as the head coach of the Arizona soccer program.

Last season Amato led the Wildcats to an 11-5-4 record (7-2-2 Pac-12) for a fourth-place finish in the conference. The team earned its third NCAA Tournament berth in four years, and the seniors became the first group in program history to make three NCAA Tournament appearances.

Cross Country: Fred Harvey/James Li

Fred Harvey enters his 17th year as the director of men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. After 15 years as an assistant and associate head coach at the University of Arizona, Harvey took the reins of the program during the 2002-03 season.

James Li enters his fifteenth year as the head coach of the Wildcat cross country team, amassing over 30 conference championships, 12 national championships, and 167 All-Americans during his illustrious career coaching cross country.

With the help of these talented coaches, Arizona Athletics will be able to display its dominance on the national collegiate level in a myriad of sports, incluing football, basketball, soccer and cross country in the fall.

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