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Arizona Wildcats hire Jim Michalczik as offensive line coach

Jim Michalczik

Jim Michalczik spent nine seasons coaching at Cal. Photo by Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez has hired a new offensive line coach — Jim Michalczik, a veteran college coach in the West who also spent time in the NFL.

Michalczik, 46, most recently was the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Cal for the past two seasons under Jeff Tedford, who was fired after last season. New Bears coach Sonny Dykes did not retain Michalczik.

That was his second stint at Cal. He was the offensive line coach under Tedford from 2002 to 2008, before joining the Oakland Raiders in the same capacity in 2009 and 2010.

(He had joined the staff of the Washington Huskies after the 2008 season but left after a couple of months to join the Raiders.)

Michalczik (pronounced muh-hall-CHECK) replaces Robert Anae, who left Arizona to return to his alma mater, BYU, in his second stint as offensive coordinator. Rodriguez is still in the market for a safeties coach to replace Tony Gibson, who left the program last week.

Michalczik has a reputation as one of the best offensive line coaches in the West. His offensive lines at Cal were often considered a strength of the team, paving the way for a parade of 1,000-yard rushers such as Joe Igber, Adimchinobe Echemandu, J.J. Arrington, Marshawn Lynch, Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and Isi Sofele.

His offensive line pupils at Cal included center Alex Mack (a two-time winner of the Morris Trophy as the conference’s top offensive lineman), tackle Ryan O’Callaghan (also a Morris Trophy winner), tackle Mitchell Schwartz (a 2012 second-round pick).

Others of note: Justin Cheadle, Mike Gibson, Aaron Merz, Marvin Philip, Erik Robertson, Mike Tepper, Scott Tercero and Mark Wilson.

Michalczik is a 1988 graduate of Washington State, when Dennis Erickson was the coach. An offensive guard, Michalczik went to camp with the Phoenix Cardinals in 1989 but was cut in August. Erickson then gave Michalczik his start in coaching as a defensive graduate assistant at Miami in 1990 and 1991.

Arizona played at top-ranked Miami in 1991, losing 8-7 as a four-touchdown underdog on a day that launched the Desert Swarm era.


Year(s) School Position
2011-12 Cal Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
2009-10 Oakland Raiders Offensive Line
2002-08 Cal Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
1999-2001 Oregon State Special Teams Coord./TE’s/Asst. Offensive Line
1992-98 Montana State Offensive Line
1990-91 Miami, Fla. Defensive Line
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