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Arizona football: Taking a look at the ex-Wildcats in coaching

Peter Hansen

Peter Hansen

Stanford hired former Arizona Wildcats two-sport athlete Peter Hansen as its inside linebackers coach Monday.

Hansen, who arrived in Tucson in the fall of 1997 as a quarterback, eventually turned into a 6-foot-7 kick-blocking weapon for Arizona who also spent two seasons with the basketball team. He played professionally overseas in both sports.

Hansen’s claim to fame in Tucson is that he blocked seven kicks, including an extra-point try in Arizona’s famed “Leap by the Lake” victory at Washington in 1998.

This is his second stint at Stanford, having worked under head coach Jim Harbaugh in 2009 and 2010 as a defensive assistant. He went with Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent the past three seasons, working with the outside linebackers and as a defensive quality control coach.

Hansen’s father, Earl Hansen, retired this month from Palo Alto (Calif.) High School, where he coached Harbaugh.

A multitude of former Arizona football players are active in high school coaching — Brandon Sanders (Pueblo), Marcus Bell (Eager Round Valley) and Kris Heavner (Phoenix Horizon) are three in-state head coaches, for example — and I count 11, including Hansen, who are full-time coaches in college or the NFL.

Here are the others:

Adam Austin (quarterback, 2002-06)
Austin, who got some starts as a senior for injured Willie Tuitama, is the offensive coordinator for Division II Midwestern State in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Brant Boyer (linebacker, 1992-93)
Boyer has spent the past two seasons as the Indianapolis Colts assistant special teams coach.

Chuck Cecil (safety, 1984-87)
The Arizona All-American just finished his second season as the secondary coach for the St. Louis Rams under coach Jeff Fisher. He spent 10 seasons working with Fisher with the Tennessee Titans, including two as coordinator.

Charlie Dickey (offensive lineman, 1983-84)
Dickey, who coached at Arizona from 1992 to 2003, had later stops at Washington and Utah. He has spent the past five seasons coaching the offensive line at Kansas State.

Dave Fipp (safety, 1994-97)
New Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly hired Fipp last offseason to be his special teams coordinator. Fipp came from the Miami Dolphins, where he had been the assistant special teams coach for two seasons. He held the same position with the San Francisco 49ers for the previous three years.

Jeff Hammerschmidt (safety, 1987-90)
Hammerschmidt was the special teams coordinator/defensive ends coach at Arizona for the final three seasons of the Mike Stoops era. He has been the special teams coordinator/running backs coach at Colorado State for the past two years.

Ricky Hunley (linebacker, 1980-83)
Hunley, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame, was out of coaching last season but jumped back into the college ranks, hired this month to coach the defensive line at Memphis.

Tom Quinn (linebacker, 1988-90)
Has spent the past eight seasons with the New York Giants, including the past seven as the special teams coordinator. His job security was questioned after his units struggled in 2013, but reports indicated he will return.

Joe Salave’a (defensive tackle, 1994-97)
Salave’a was on the final Stoops’ staff at Arizona in 2011 and then landed a job coaching the defensive line at Washington State after Mike Leach was hired.

Mikal Smith (defensive back, 1995-96)
Smith helped coach the Dallas Cowboys defensive backs last season, and then joined his dad, Lovie Smith, who was hired to be the head coach in Tampa Bay. Mikal will coach safeties for the Buccaneers.

A few other notes …

James Alford, a linebacker who finished his UA career in 2008, is on a college coaching staff — as an operations assistant for ex-UA basketball player Josh Pastner at Memphis. … Former linebacker Ronnie Palmer spent last season as a graduate assistant at Colorado State. … Former receiver Brad Brennan is a grad assistant at Oregon State, working with the wideouts.

Did I miss someone? Let me know in the comments section, or via Facebook or Twitter.

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