It’s not much of a secret, but Arizona Wildcats coach Mike Stoops will soon officially announce Ryan Walters as his new secondary coach.
The official announcement could come as soon as Monday.
Walters, 25, will be moving from the graduate assistant’s role to the full-time position. He arrived at Arizona last year with then-new secondary coach Greg Brown, who came from Colorado.
When Brown left after the 2010 season to return to the Buffaloes for new coach Jon Embree, Stoops made a widely heralded move by luring Duana Akina from Texas. But Akina, who spent 14 seasons as an assistant to Dick Tomey at Arizona, lasted only a few weeks on the job before returning to his old position in Austin, citing family reasons.
While there is a huge experience and resume gap between Akina and Walters, Stoops knows what he is getting with Walters and might be catching a young coaching star on the rise. Walters took over the secondary for the Alamo Bowl, when the defense played reasonably well against an explosive Oklahoma State team.
“I like what Ryan Walters does with our secondary,” Stoops told TucsonCitizen.com on Feb. 16. In that interview, Stoops said Walters was “under serious consideration” for the opening as defensive backs coach.
Walters learned under Brown as a player and a graduate assistant. He started 33 games at Colorado, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors as a senior in 2008. Walters made 87 tackles that season as a free safety.
He made 223 career tackles and had four interceptions.
Here is his bio from Arizona’s official site.