Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Stoops discusses QB battle, contract, his health

Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona football coach Mike Stoops, before going on his usual jog around campus, took time Tuesday to answer questions about the starting quarterback position, the state of his program, his health and even what’s next for the Wildcat basketball program.

The Wildcats wrapped up spring drills last week and now begin offseason preparation for the Sept. 5 opener against Central Michigan at Arizona Stadium.

Q: After the season ended, you received a contract extension through 2013. Where does that stand?

Stoops: “We agreed to the terms. We are going through the formalities of the Board of Regents.”

Q: Were there talks to give your assistant coaches raises as well?

Stoops: “We will always try to improve the quality of our program, and I certainly feel like we have one of the best staffs in the country. We want to be competitive with other teams in the Pac-10. That is what we all want. We are very competitive. We will always try to take care of our coaches. We feel good about our staff and the ability to keep both of our coordinators is very important. It is critical for any program.”

Q: With the deaths of former Arizona coach Larry Smith and Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder at relatively young ages, do you think about your own mortality more?

Stoops: “My dad died when he was really young as well. Physically you are more conscious of trying to do the things to keep yourself in a good health. My heart must be pretty good; I survived these last five years . . .

“You understand the lifestyle and the pressures that go along with these positions have never been greater. You have to come to a peace of mind.”

Q: Do you ever get away and just relax?

Stoops: “I like to play golf. That is how I relieve my stress and pressure of the daily grind of what you do. I never know if you ever get away from it, even if you are on vacation for two weeks. I don’t think you ever truly get away because the day-to-day activities that go on with your players, whether it is workouts, behavior, academics or recruiting. That is part of the position.”

Q: Is there any advice you would give new Arizona basketball coach Sean Miller about starting out here?

Stoops: “Sean has had the opportunity to be a head coach for five years. It is different. I think you grow with any position. Patience is very important for anything. They are going to win here, but we hadn’t won. I was taking over a team that won two or three games.

“We are taking over drastically different programs. His team took a hit with the departure of two great players (Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger to the NBA) and possibly a third (Nic Wise). Basketball is much different than football. You are talking about 85 guys as opposed to 12 or 13. There is a difference.”

Q: What did you see from the quarterback battle between sophomores Matt Scott and Nick Foles?

Stoops: “I thought they were very good and just lacked consistency. That is the case with any young quarterback. At times you see what Matt can do and how he can extend plays and create plays.

“That is a unique ability he has. We don’t want a guy who is going to hit a home run and then strike out and then a home run. We want consistency from both of our quarterbacks.

“As the season gets closer both are going to want to be the guy. Our team has reacted very well with both. We are in no hurry to dictate who is going to start. I would say that wouldn’t be named until we get to the final preparation for our first opponent.”

Q: Who fills the void at left tackle for Eben Britton, who left early and is projected to be a first-round draft pick in the NFL draft April 25? What about UA’s tackles?

Stoops: “Mike Diaz would be our guy. We feel very good about what he can do. We have other tackles that just have to physically mature. We saw nothing from Jack Julsing we didn’t like, or (Shane) Zink, or Trace Biskin. We have Phillip Garcia (knee injury). He just hasn’t been healthy since he has been here. We feel like we are going to be stronger on the offensive side of the ball. There is nothing physically or athletically that these players can’t do.”

Q: What are the prospects on defense?

“This is by far and away our best group from 1 to 11. I feel the three linebackers (Xavier Kelley, Sterling Lewis, Vuna Tuiahalamaka) are as good as any we have ever had. Our ‘D’ line has a chance to be a strength to our team. That has not always been the case. When you look at 1 through 11, you see guys who are formidable players.”


Sept. 5 Central Michigan

Sept. 12 Northern Arizona

Sept. 19 at Iowa

Sept. 26 at Oregon State

Oct. 10 at Washington

Oct. 17 Stanford

Oct. 24 UCLA

Nov. 7 Washington State

Nov. 14 at California

Nov. 21 Oregon

Nov. 28 at Arizona State

Dec. 5 at USC

‘My heart must be pretty good; I survived these last five years.’


UA football coach, on his health

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

Search site | Terms of service