Arizona Hires Rich Rodriguez

By Chris Hengst


Rich Rodriguez figures if he keeps heading west, he may replicate his success at West Virginia.

According to CBS Sports college football analyst Bruce Feldman, the embattled former Michigan Man will be named the next head coach at Arizona.

Fired following three disappointing seasons in Ann Arbor, Rodriguez worked in television this year while being mentioned for a variety of openings.

It’s easy to forget Rodriguez’s spread offense ran roughshod over the Big East during his tenure in Morgantown, notching a Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia in 2006 and nearly playing for the national title in 2007.

Losing to Pittsburgh in December 2007 knocked the Mountaineers out of the title hunt, allowed Rodriguez to accept the Michigan job and embark on a tumultuous stint in the Big Ten that just never clicked.

Still, Rodriguez is a solid get for the Arizona program and considering their in-state rival Arizona State seems likely to fire Dennis Erickson, a proactive hire.

The Wildcats fired Mike Stoops earlier in the year after he guided Arizona to a 1-5 start. He wasn’t much better overall at 41-50 and may return to serve as his brother’s defensive coordinator at Oklahoma should Brent Venables nab a promotion elsewhere.

With USC coming off postseason probation next year, Arizona needed a flashy name to recruit and compete with their Pac 12 South foes.

Consider Rodriguez a success on both fronts.

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