Thomas Neumann of ESPN.com’s Page 2 has posted an interesting Q&A with Arizona coach Mike Stoops, who reveals some personal touches and reflects on his biggest coaching mistakes.
Regarding those strategy decisions, the one that often pops in my mind is one he didn’t mention: The 2005 season-opener at Utah.
Arizona had rallied from a 27-10 deficit to trail 27-24 late in the game. Facing fourth-and-5 from the Utah 42 with a little more than three minutes left, Arizona punted.
I remember thinking it would have been a perfect time, at the beginning of his second year against a team that was coming off a 12-0 season, for Stoops to establish an aggressive, won’t-back-down play-calling mentality.
As it turned out, the punt went into the end zone, the Wildcats had to use their final timeout … and they ended up getting the ball back at their 9 with 28 seconds left. Game over.
Anyway, back to the Q&A, I see Stoops has good taste in restaurants and cheerleaders … and I have to agree with him on the whole grocery shopping thing.
(Great quote from USC coach Lane Kiffin, who picked Stoops when answering the “best dressed coach in the league” question: “He’s totally changed. He drinks fancy wine now. He reads the same magazines as my wife. He’s got designer clothes on all the time.”)
Check out the full Stoops’ Q&A at ESPN.com.