Jedd Fisch proved to be a terrific recruit for Arizona, but now after three seasons of reviving the Wildcats football program, he's headed to Seattle to replace Kalen DeBoer at Washington. Who can Arizona target as it prepares to move to the Big 12?
The obvious choice to replace him is the person Arizona hired last time: San Jose State coach Brent Brennan. The 50-year-old former Arizona graduate assistant is coming off his best season at San Jose State in 2020, and the last time the job opened up, the Spartans went 7-1 and were ranked No. 24. Brennan solidified the SJSU program and continues to attract one of the toughest jobs in the FBS. Despite the additional new challenges that came with the new era of the transfer portal, the Spartans had back-to-back winning seasons. Brennan is well-respected among his peers and those around Arizona. I doubt he will be the favorite this time.
Washington State coach Jake Dickert It has done interesting work with all kinds of challenges and has brought much-needed stability to a program that has been reeling from every imaginable issue for the past five years. He stepped in two years ago after Nick Rolovich's brief tenure culminated in his ouster in a public battle over his Covid-19 vaccination status. The Cougars had to deal with the deaths of two teammates from 2018, and then there was the matter of watching the school fall behind as the Pac-12 split left Vasu stranded without a home. Tiggert's players praised him for bringing structure and showing passion on both sides of the ball. His record of 15-16 in three seasons is mediocre, but that doesn't come close to telling how good he has been for the Cougars.
UNLV coach Barry Odom He did a good job in a place that had only one winning season since 2000. The Rebels went 9-5 in his first season, and the former Missouri coach showed a lot of growth since his first time running a program. The 47-year-old from Oklahoma will fit in well in the Big 12 footprint and has deep ties to the state of Texas.
Arizona offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Brennan Carroll Fish will provide some continuity from Reign, which will be attractive. The 44-year-old son of Pete Carroll is the former USC recruiting coordinator and has been Fish's right-hand man as they have transformed Arizona and turned the Wildcats into a top 25 team and a legitimate force on the West Coast. The younger Carroll's ability to spot and land talent has been a huge key to Arizona's rise.
Texas State coach GJ Kinney, 35, has risen rapidly. In his only season at FCS Incarnate Word, he led the program to a 12-2 season and a No. 3 ranking. This year, in his first season at Texas State, he led the Bobcats to an 8-5 record and won a bowl in a struggling program. He's a creative offensive mind who will excite people in Tucson.
UNLV offensive coordinator Brennan Marion, Kinney's old college teammate in Tulsa, is another prospect who wants to get some consideration. Odom, a 36-year-old former Tulsa wideout, helped turn things around in Vegas. Marian's go-go offense was the spark, leading the MWC in scoring despite losing starting QB Doug Brumfield to injury in September. Marion turns to redshirt freshman QB Jayden Maiwa, who has piloted an offense that has scored 40 points in four straight games, the first at UNLV. Mayava transferred to USC.
Oregon offensive coordinator Will Stein, 34, is another intriguing name to keep an eye on. The former Louisville QB, then Texas high school coach, has risen rapidly from UTSA offensive coordinator heading into a big debut season at Oregon in 2023. His Ducks offense is No. 1 in the nation in yards per game. It was 2.
(Top photo by Brent Brennan: Samuel Stringer/ICON Sportswire via Getty Images)
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