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Ex-Arizona football assistant coaches: Where are they now?

Rob Ianello, in his second season at Akron, is one of six former Arizona assistants who are head coaches. Photo by Jason Miller-US PRESSWIRE

Football camps are soon going to be starting all over the country … do you know where your former Arizona Wildcats assistant coaches are? Hint: Start in Colorado.

Having updated my list from last year, there are, by my count, 46 former Arizona Wildcats football coaches who are active in coaching college or professional football.

(I guess that number should be 47 if you count Jeff Hammerschmidt, who is both a former and current UA assistant coach.)

Four of those ex-UA assistants are first-year coaches at new Pac-12 member Colorado, including two who jumped from Tucson to Boulder after last season — Greg Brown and Mike Tuiasosopo.

You have to have a longer, sharper memory to identify the other two — Bobby Kennedy (who spent one year at Arizona under John Mackovic) and Rip Scherer (who was the coordinator for run-heavy offenses in 1989 and 1990).

Going back the furthest? That would be Mike Hankwitz, whose first full-time coaching job came in 1973 at Arizona under Jim Young. Hankwitz, who later served as interim head coach for the Wildcats in 2003 after Mackovick’s dismissal, is still going strong as the defensive coordinator at a solid Northwestern program.

Six of these ex-Cat assistants are head coaches, including Rich Ellerson, a Salpointe Catholic High School graduate. In his second season last year, he took the Black Knights to their first bowl game since 1996.

Here’s a look at all the former UA assistants and where they are now in coaching, with years at Arizona followed by current occupation. Italics denote that the coach is in his first year with that team.

Duane Akina, 1987-2000
Texas, assistant head coach/defensive backs

Pete Alamar, 1995-1999
Fresno State, specials teams/tight ends

Bobby April, 1980-1986
Philadelphia Eagles, special teams coordinator

Steve Axman, 1980-1984
Idaho, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Dino Babers, 1995-2000
Baylor, receivers/special teams coordinator

John Baxter, 1990-1991
USC, associate head coach/special teams

Bill Bedenbaugh, 2007-10
West Virginia, offensive line

Gary Bernardi, 1983-1986
San Jose State, offensive line

Jay Boulware, 2001-2003
Auburn, specials teams coordinator/tight ends

Craig Bray, 2003
Arizona State, defensive coordinator/safeties

Clarence Brooks, 1990-1992
Baltimore Ravens, defensive line

Greg Brown, 2010
Colorado, defensive coordinator/secondary

Charlie Camp, 2002
Akron, linebackers

Mike Canales, 2004-2006
North Texas, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Gerald Carr, 1991
Virginia Destroyers (UFL), running backs

Charlie Dickey, 1992-2003
Kansas State, offensive line

Dana Dimel, 2005-09
Kansas State, co-offensive coordinator/running backs

Kasey Dunn, 2004-2006
Oklahoma State, receivers

Sonny Dykes, 2007-2009
Louisiana Tech, head coach

Rich Ellerson, 1992-1995; 1997-2000
Army, head coach

Mike Hankwitz, 1973-1976; 2003
Northwestern, defensive coordinator

Jeff Hecklinski, 2003
Michigan, wide receivers

Josh Heupel, 2005
Oklahoma, co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach

Pat Hill, 1990-1991
Fresno State, head coach

Rob Ianello, 1993-2002
Akron, head coach

Bobby Kennedy, 2001
Colorado, wide receivers

Marty Long, 1996-2003
Northwestern, defensive line

Johnnie Lynn, 1988-1993
Philadelphia Eagles, cornerbacks

Larry Mac Duff, 1987-1996, 2001-02
Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL), defensive coordinator/special teams

Ron McBride, 1987-1989
Weber State, head coach

John Matsko, 1986
Carolina Panthers, offensive line

Bob Palcic, 1984-1985
UCLA, offensive line

Joe Robinson, 2004-2007
North Carolina, defensive line

Rip Scherer, 1989-1990
Colorado, assistant head coach/quarterbacks

Clarence Shelmon, 1984-1986
San Diego Chargers, offensive coordinator

Michael Smith, 2007-09
Kansas State, receivers

Richard Smith, 1987
Denver Broncos, linebackers

Steve Spurrier Jr., 2004
South Carolina, receivers

Mark Stoops, 2004-2009
Florida State, defensive coordinator

Mike Tuiasosopo, 2004-2010
Colorado, defensive line

Charlie Williams, 2004-2006
North Carolina, receivers

Ted Williams, 1994
Philadelphia Eagles, running backs

Eric Wolford, 2004-2006
Youngstown State, head coach

Kevin Wolthausen, 1985-1986
Las Vegas Locomotives (UFL), defensive line

Jeff Woodruff, 1998-1999
UTEP, assistant head coach/tight ends

Darrell Wyatt, 2007
Texas, co-recruiting coordinator/wide receivers

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