Here’s something I did not know: Former Arizona Wildcats coach Dick Tomey helped launch the coaching career of Denver Broncos interim head coach Eric Studesville.
As told in a very fine feature by Terry Frei in Sunday’s Denver Post, Studesville graduated from Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1989 and worked as a personal trainer for a year before deciding to go to graduate school.
He is an excerpt from Frei’s story:
He was admitted to the University of Arizona’s exercise physiology program and went to Tucson in 1990. He found himself missing football and began checking out the Wildcats’ practices. Dick Tomey was Arizona’s coach.
“I pestered Coach Tomey for about a semester,” Studesville said. “About every two weeks, I’d go over to the football offices and leave him a message saying who I was and that I’d like to talk to him about anything I could help him with, anything to be around football. Finally, after the Christmas break, I was able to sit down and talk with him — for a few moments.”
Studesville laughed and added: “This week, I talked with Coach Tomey and reminded him of the fact that, at that moment, when he said, ‘OK, you can be around,’ that opened the door for me to be exposed to this business. I’m always going to be indebted to him.”
Tomey, 72, retired from coaching last year after a five-season run as San Jose State’s head coach.
“He was obviously very persistent,” Tomey said from his home in Hawaii. “He also was terrific, right from the start. We were really, really glad we brought him on. He was assertive and he was confident, and you could tell he knew what he wanted, but he could make that known while being kind and articulate in stating his case well. We were just putting together our program at Arizona, and he worked with a tremendous group of people.”
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Studesville’s head coaching debut didn’t go so well Sunday, as the Broncos committed six turnovers while losing at the Arizona Cardinals 43-13.