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Rich Rodriguez: No assistants hired this week

Rich Rodriguez

Rich Rodriguez tries on a sombrero during a halftime ceremony. Photo by Chris Morrison-US PRESSWIRE

New Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez said no assistants coaches will be hired this week as he goes through the process of putting together a staff.

“I’m hoping the week after next, I will have half the staff taken care of,” Rodriguez said, meeting with the media at halftime of the game against Louisiana. “Within three weeks, we should have them all.”

He said he has been making recruiting phone calls but likely won’t head out on the road as a contact period begins Sunday. He said he doesn’t want to use his one home visit to recruits not having a coaching staff in place and an assistant to accompany him.

Rodriguez said he will consider retaining some members of the current coaching staff.

“It has to be the right fit,” Rodriguez said.

“It has to be a guy who can fit in to what we want to do offensively and defensively. But there are a couple of spots I am open too, I should say, and a couple of guys on the staff I am interested in talking to.”

If he knows he will retain a certain assistant, then he can go ahead and deploy that assistant on the recruiting road, as the coach is already under contract.

Arizona has 16 known commitments, although most have been in wait-and-see mode as the Wildcats went through the hiring process. Rodriguez said the scholarship offers to committed players will be honored, but there is bound to be attrition as players change their mind based on, if nothing else, the change in schemes.

“I’ll be honest with them,” Rodriguez said.

“The thing that happens sometimes in recruiting that creates bad feeling is when you’re not honest. If a guy calls and says, ‘Do I really fit what you do?’ and he doesn’t and I say, ‘Yes,’ I’m not being fair to him.

“But if I think he’s a good player and he can fit in any system or scheme I will tell him that as well. Being honest — and being brutally honest at times — is hard in recruiting. But it’s worked for me in the past, so I will continue to do that now.”

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