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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New Faces: The Coaches

After struggling with a co-coordinator system last season, head coach Mike Stoops revamped the Wildcats’ coaching staff with new roles and three fresh faces. The departure of last year’s offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh gave Seth Littrell full control of the offensive coordinator position. Like Bedenbaugh, co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Greg Brown left the UA, leaving longtime linebackers coach Tim Kish in charge of the Wildcat defense.

Kish and Littrell have been staples in Stoops’ coaching staff, moving up the ranks to their current positions, but the new faces come in the form of Robert Anae, Ryan Walters and Joe Salave’a. Walters and Salave’a were late additions last season prior to the 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl while Anae jumped ship from BYU during the offseason.

Robert Anae

Offensive line coach, run game coordinator

Coaching experience: Offensive coordinator at BYU from 2005-10, offensive line at Texas Tech from 2000-04, offensive line at UNLV from 1997-98, offensive line at Boise State in 1996, offensive line at Ricks College from 1992-95, offensive line grad assistant at BYU from 1990-91, and offensive line at Hawaii from 1986-87.

Playing experience: Offensive lineman at BYU from 1981-84

Analysis: Luring Anae from the Cougars was a huge victory for Stoops and his staff this offseason. He has quite the challenge in front of him, as he’ll have to coach up five offensive linemen with a combined one start under their belts. But Anae has the pedigree to do it. He also understands the spread offense well, thanks to his days at BYU and Texas Tech, making him a great fit for UA’s pass-happy offense.

Anae will also be asked to man Arizona’s running game, which has been unimpressive during the last few years.

*Joe Salave’a *

Defensive line coach

Coaching experience: Defensive line coach at San Jose State University in 2008-09

Playing experience: Defensive tackle at the UA 1994-97, played for the Tennessee Titans from 1998 to 2002, the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers in 2003 and the Washington Redskins from 2004-06.

Analysis: Salave’a is out to return the Wildcats’ defense to the Desert Swarm form he helped create during his playing days at the UA. He brings eight years of NFL experience as well as an intensity and passion perfect for his role. Salave’a also coached under legendary Arizona coach Dick Tomey at San Jose State and appears to be a great fit for his alma mater.

Ryan Walters

Secondary coach

Coaching experience: Defensive graduate assistant at Arizona in 2010
Playing experience: Defensive back at Colorado from 2004-08

Analysis: Walters, 25, is a Greg Brown prodigy and the youngest coach in the Pac-12. The former Colorado standout clearly has the respect of Stoops and his players, evident by the fact that Stoops chose Walters over other, more experienced, coaching candidates after the departure of Duane Akina, who returned to Arizona briefly this offseason before reneging on his decision and returning to the Texas Longhorns.

There’s a reason Walters has moved up at such a young age. He’s easy to relate to, yet harsh enough to keep Arizona’s young secondary minding its P’s and Q’s.

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