Now that Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes is going to be the head coach at Louisiana Tech, UA head coach Mike Stoops, entering his seventh season, will be looking for his third offensive coordinator.
Previously, he replaced Mike Canales after the 2006 season with Dykes. (Hey, Canales is available, having been cut loose after the head coaching change at South Florida.)
Most of the assistants on Arizona’s offensive coaching staff have experience at Texas Tech and with the basis of UA’s spread offense. But no one among the group of line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, inside receivers coach Garret Chachere, running backs coach Seth Littrell and outside receivers coach Dave Nichol has experience calling plays at this level.
Bedenbaugh carries the additional title of running game coordinator.
Too bad Stoops’ pal from his Oklahoma days, Chuck Long, was hired by new Kansas coach Turner Gill last month. Long was out of coaching last season after being fired as head coach of San Diego State. Long and Darrell Wyatt, an assistant at Arizona in 2007, will be co-coordinators with the Jayhawks. Could either be pried loose?
What about this as a possibility: Josh Heupel. He, too, has no experience in play-calling, but Oklahoma’s quarterbacks coach, who will be 32 in March, is considered a rising star in the profession.
Heupel spent the 2005 season at Arizona as the tight ends coach before jumping back to Oklahoma, where he has coached quarterbacks (including 2008 Heisman winner Sam Bradford) for the past four seasons. He quarterbacked the Sooners to the 2000 national title.
Dykes’ departure would be the second big blow for the Arizona offense in the past week. Tight end Rob Gronkowski announced Friday he was leaving early to enter the NFL Draft.
Still, Arizona loses only two seniors starters on offense — receiver Terrell Turner and left tackle Mike Diaz.