Arizona coach Mike Stoops said Wednesday he could have a new offensive coordinator by the end of the week.
Stoops said he has brought in three coaches for interviews.
“We’re close,” Stoops said. “I’d say by Friday we’ll make some kind of decision.”
Stoops must replace Sonny Dykes, who left to become the head coach of Louisiana Tech on Jan. 20 – two weeks before signing day. The Wildcats lost quarterback recruit Matt Brown because of it; Brown signed with TCU.
“I’ve liked everyone I’ve had in,” Stoops said. “There are a lot of unbelievable coaches out there who have great experience and great ideas. We’re trying to find someone who will fit in with our staff the best.”
Even with a new coordinator, there likely won’t be a major shift in scheme as the Wildcats figure to remain a spread team, using plenty of four-receiver sets and the shotgun formation.
“The decision is going to be very difficult,” Stoops said. “I have interviewed three tremendous guys I have taken a liking to. That really is the hardest part of our job sometimes, hiring people and telling other people no.”
The new hire could possibly have a co-coordinator title with Bill Bedenbaugh, the offensive line coach and running game coordinator. Arizona will have co-defensive coordinators next season, with linebackers coach Tim Kish and newcomer Greg Brown, who will be coaching the secondary.
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Richard Morrison, who redshirted as a freshman quarterback last season, has moved to a slot receiver position. Morrison, who is listed at 6-0, 180, was a dual-threat quarterback at Royce City (Texas) High School.
DeWayne Peace, who redshirted at receiver last season, will now try cornerback. Peace is 5-11, 180.
“They’re both tremendous athletes that we need to get on the field,” Stoops said. “I have been really impressed with both players.”
UPDATING MATT SCOTT
Junior quarterback Matt Scott, who was a transfer possibility after losing the starting job to classmate Nick Foles after the third game of last season, is back to compete at the position. Arizona also has junior Bryson Beirne.
“There is always the possibility of redshirting,” Stoops said of Scott.
Scott also is athletic enough to play another position.
“We’ll look at all our options, see what Matt feels comfortable doing, where he’s at, how he’s playing,” Stoops said. “All those things we’ll research and prepare for by the season if he’s not the starter.”
OPENER ON ESPN
Arizona announced Wednesday that the team’s season-opener at Toledo has been moved from Saturday, Sept. 4, to Friday, Sept. 3, to accommodate ESPN television.
“It’s going to be great,” Stoops said. “The Friday night before the first football (weekend), playing that game on ESPN, it just continues to give us national exposure … you know, if we play well.
“I think it’s certainly going to get our players’ attention.”
Toledo was 5-7 last season under first-year coach Tim Beckman, and Stoops noted that the Rockets defeated visiting Colorado last season, 54-38.
“I keep reminding Coach Brown about that,” Stoops said of his new co-defensive coordinator. “I think we will be well prepared.”
Stoops said Arizona is tweaking its uniforms for next season, and that he wouldn’t rule out using the white helmets, which the Wildcats wore for the first team in his tenure during the Holiday Bowl loss at Nebraska.
“We’re going to have a bunch of different looks that we will be able to accessorize our players with,” Stoops said. “That is kind of the fad we’re in right now with kids and players. We’re trying to keep up with it.
“If it makes them happy, then I’m happy. I really don’t care what we wear.”
Stoops said the uniforms would be “more toward our old look and a little more traditional but still modern” … whatever that means.
At least the colors will stay the same.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Jackson Powell has left the program, Stoops said. … Stoops on safety recruit Josh Robbins from Canyon del Oro High School: “I think Josh Robbins is kind of a diamond in the rough. He has a huge upside.” … UA officially announced the hiring of Dave Emerick as the assistant director of operations/director of on-campus recruiting. He has spent the past six seasons with Texas Tech, the last two in a “chief of staff” position.