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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Roundtable: Who should be Arizona’s next head coach?

Simon Asher

Arizona head football coach Kevin Sumlin watches the University of Arizona football team warm up before a scrimmage in the spring football season on Saturday, April 7, in Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.

It’s been a little over a week since former head coach Kevin Sumlin was dismissed from Arizona. The head coaching search is now in full surge as several different candidates have been rumored to be linked to the Wildcats’ head coaching vacancy.

But which one would be the best fit for the team? Our sports desk chimes in and gives their favorite coach to fill the void. 

Jacob Mennuti – Brent Brennan

It’s starting to become the most popular pick, so I apologize if you were hoping to see an “out of the box” pick with this one, but my favorite head coaching candidate is San Jose State’s Brent Brennan. Don’t get me wrong, I honestly like a lot of the names that have been rumored to to take on the head coaching job. Oregon’s Joe Salave’a would be an awesome hire because of his recruiting abilities and ties to Arizona, but my only worry is that he has no head coaching experience and Arizona is in no position to be taking any kinds of risks with this next hire.

Arizona’s next head coach needs to have some sort of head coaching experience and a real passion to be in Tucson and Brennan checks off both of those boxes. Brennan has also proved that he can build a successful football program with limited resources at his disposal as he has put SJSU back on the map with its 7-0 record and Mountain West Conference title this season.

The common argument against Brennan is that his career coaching record is 14-29 in his four seasons with the Spartans. Is this season a one-hit wonder? I don’t think so. In fact, I honestly think Brennan’s prominent coaching career is just getting started.

Ari Koslow – Brent Brennan

My preference for the Arizona Wildcats next football coach, and someone I’ve been eyeing for a while, is San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan. He completely turned around the Spartans’ program and is a disciple of longtime Arizona coach Dick Tomey. There are also rumors of Brennan bringing in current Oregon defensive line coach Joe Salave’a who was a former defensive line for the Wildcats before moving on to the NFL. Salave’a was also an assistant coach for San Jose State back in the 2008-09 season when Tomey was the head coach and Brennan was an assistant coach on the offensive side of the ball. 

Brennan has that connection with Tucson and some former coaches for the Wildcats previously, so he is the perfect fit in my mind to be the next Wildcats coach. He has shown he can build a program from the ground up and I believe that is who Arizona should look for as the team’s next had coach. 

RELATED: Why Arizona should, and shouldn’t, hire SJSU Brent Brennan

Ryan Wohl –  Steve Sarkisian 

Arizona Athletic director Dave Heeke is under a lot of pressure to find the right man to lead this program in a positive direction and they need a proven winner that’s a difference maker. 

That is why, I believe that they should hire Steve Sarkisian because he is the leader of the most dominate offense in college football today. Every time Mac Jones looked to the sideline to get the play call, we all knew before he snapped the ball that it was going to be a big play. Although I like some coaches from smaller schools, I believe that Sarkisian’s experience in big games and ability to call out of the box plays can lead this Wildcat football program to a good place and get back to their winning ways from the past. Even though it might be tough to higher him, they should strongly consider it because he is a step above the rest of the coaching candidates. 

Patrick Carr – Brent Brennan

This should be the easiest coaching hire in school history as Brent Brennan is the perfect choice. Brennan is already killing the recruiting game on the west coast, knows how to put together an amazing staff and has the connection with Arizona alumni and boosters already. There is something meaningful about creating an easy to root for culture and program that is really good as well and he did just that at San Jose State, which is one of the hardest programs to win at in the country. 

Like his tenure in San Jose, it will take a couple years to get this program competing again but I have zero doubts Brennan can pull it off. It’s what he does — he’s a great rebuilder. SJSU was picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West football conference this year and Brennan had his team pull off an impressive 7-0 season that ended with a pretty noticeable domination against the top dogs in Boise State. I think bringing Brennan in will get the excitement for Arizona football started again and that’s what the program needs. There was a swagger with this Spartans football team that was displayed weekly because they knew they had great coaching covering their back, on the sidelines. The Wildcats need a spark, a little swagger in the program. Who better than Mountain West Coach of the Year, Brent Brennan? 

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