Interim University of Arizona president Eugene Sander and Arizona Athletic Director, Greg Byrne with new Arizona Head Football Coach, Rich Rodriguez.
The University of Arizona hired Rich Rodriguez as there new head football coach, and came with fanfare from Arizona athletic director, Greg Byrne, and critics.
Arizona fans have heard this before with John Mackovic, and Mike Stoops. Both were fired with no Rose Bowl.
Byrne is an energetic, passionate athletic director. In his second year on the job, and he has shown a big commitment to the football program.
The new scoreboard on the south endzone, and the expansion of the north endzone are prime examples. After firing 7-year coach, Mike Stoops, the hiring of a new football coach is the next big step.
Byrne quoted former Florida head coach, Urban Meyer, during recent conversation the two had, “If you hire Rich You are getting one of the 5 greatest minds in college football. That would be an incredible hire for the University of Arizona.”
Rodriguez did very well in West Virginia with a 60-26 record. He was fired from Michigan after the school went on probation for requiring players to workout and practice more then the NCAA allowed, and had graduate assistants as coaching, resulting in more coaches then NCAA allows. He left with a 15-22 record.
Arizona has a virtually a clean program, but Byrne has little trouble convincing fans he did a through check on Rodriguez.
“We spoke to many people throughout the country, including the NCAA, multiple conference offices, athletic directors and senior officials across the country,” Byrne said in an afternoon press conference at McKale Center before the local media and fans. “We talked to football coaches on the professional level, on the college level and on the high school level. And yes, even a few media members, get a little background from them.”
“I think of a couple of things. Who’s the most hungry guy out there? And the other thing, who do the other coaches not want to show up in Tucson, AZ. In my opinion, it’s Rich Rodriguez,” said Byrne, quoting Arizona Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Sean Miller, in a conversation last week.
Rodriguez is excited to be here, and is ready to embrace the community.
“I am usually a pretty open person when it comes to getting to know myself, my staff our family and the program,” Rodriguez said in the afternoon press conference. “I want you all to be around. I want you to ask questions. I want you to get to know the staff. Get to know our players. Get to know me.”
He also wants the fans to enjoy the fast-paced style of play he has been known to deliver.
“All that I will promise you is we will not be boring. We will have fun watching, and we will play as hard as any team you have seen in the country,” Rodriguez said.
So far, he is a good choice, but Arizona fans have heard this before with John Mackovic and Mike Stoops. The potential is there, but will the good deliver?