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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Scelfo shares history at Tulane with new hire

Over the next few weeks, Rich Rodriguez will clean out Arizona’s football coaching staff and bring in his own crew. He’s expected to hire assistants from his days at West Virginia and Michigan, and the current coaches will see their tenure at Arizona come to a screeching halt.

But if Rodriguez were to keep one UA coach around, it would have to be Frank Scelfo. Arizona’s quarterback’s coach was on the same staff as Rodriguez at Tulane in 1997 and 1998 and the two have developed a friendship since.

“We kept up when he was at West Virginia,” Scelfo said Tuesday. “Sometimes at Michigan we saw each other, talked and kept up with the families. My son just came in and he got a chance to see him, and he said, ‘Man, I haven’t seen him since he was this big.’ Same thing with his kids. I haven’t seen them since they were babies.”

Scelfo spoke about how much he learned from Rodriguez at Tulane, where the new UA coach brought in a seemingly foreign spread offense. With Rodriguez now the Wildcats’ leader, Scelfo may just be the perfect coach to help him engineer that fast-paced offense.

But despite the fact that he’s Arizona’s most likely candidate to stay, Scelfo isn’t ready to call himself hired.

“It’s going to be his decision,” Scelfo said. “I know what his goal is. You guys know what it is. It’s to get us to the Rose Bowl, and if he feels like I can help him do that, then he’s going to give me an opportunity to stay. If he feels like there’s somebody else that feels that niche a little better, then he’ll move on.”

Rodriguez may very well bring in a former colleague to fill Scelfo’s spot. He said on Tuesday he already has three or four coaches in mind for his staff as a whole.

But Rodriguez also admitted he’s open to keeping an Arizona coach or two to help him learn the culture as well as aid in recruiting on the West Coast.

Given his credentials and relationship with Rodriguez, Scelfo may be the right candidate. Scelfo is experienced and accomplished, and he helped mold Nick Foles into one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-12. He is also credited with the behind-the-scenes improvement in redshirt quarterback Matt Scott, who will be a senior next year.

Since Scelfo joined the staff last season, Foles has raved about the Louisiana native.

“He might be my all-time favorite coach,” Foles said. “He’s taught me so much about being a player but most importantly he’s a great person and he teaches you to be a better person off the field and doing the right the things. I can’t say enough about the man. He’s one of my favorite people. I love him to death.”

But despite Scelfo’s success and history with Rodriguez, he knows he’ll most likely have to sit down and sell himself to land the job.

“I’m sure at some point in time I think I’m going to have to say, ‘Here’s why I should be here or here’s why I do fit in.’ He might say, ‘I’m not sure you do fit in,’” Scelfo said. “Whatever he wants to do, I’ll be comfortable doing it.”

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