The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 90 days away. From now until then, this Web site will count down the days with facts about the Wildcats, their players, coaching staff and opponents. This is not a ranking, only a list of 100 facts and observances related to the 2013 Arizona football team and coach Rich Rodriguez.
During the countdown to the kickoff of the season, WILDABOUTAZCATS.net will piece together starting today Arizona’s All-Pac-10/12 Team since the Wildcats joined the conference in 1978.
The selections will be based primarily on all-conference first-team selections. Tie-breakers among the position players will be selections for national awards, All-American teams and second-team conference selections.
The first player on the list is center Joe Tofflemire, one of the most accomplished players to wear an Arizona uniform.
Tofflemire, who played with the UA from 1985-88, is one of only five Arizona players to be a three-time first-team selection. The others are linebackers Ricky Hunley (1981-83) and Lance Briggs (2000-02), cornerback Chris McAlister (1996-98) and defensive end Tedy Bruschi (1993-95).
Tofflemire is the only UA center to be selected to the first team. Bruce Wiggins was a second-team selection in 1999. Colin Baxter was a second-team selection in 2009 and 2010. Glenn McCormick, Mani Ott, Wayne Wyatt, Rusty James, Keoki Fraser and Kyle Quinn have been listed as honorable mention selections during the UA’s existence in the Pac-10/12.
The Arizona football family was saddened in 2011, when Tofflemire died at age 46 because of heart failure. Although Tofflemire garnered a lot of recognition throughout his Wildcat career, he never changed from his humble ways.
“It wasn’t his nature to scream at people,” former UA offensive tackle Glenn Parker, a teammate of Tofflemire’s at Arizona, told TucsonCitizen.com’s Anthony Gimino.
“His nature was to laugh and smile. But when he did tell someone to jump on the bus, it meant something.”
The Pac-10’s defensive linemen selected Tofflemire the 1988 Morris Trophy winner as the league′s top offensive lineman. After the 1988 season, Tofflemire was a second-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 1989. He was with the team through the 1995 training camp.
Tofflemire was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
His brother Paul also lettered as a center with Arizona from 1988-91.
The best No. 90 to play for Arizona? According to Gimino, it’s Brandon Manumaleuna (1997-2000). He began his career at Arizona as a defensive lineman before switching to tight end and H-back. He finished his career at Arizona with 40 receptions for 544 yards and three touchdowns. He was drafted in the fourth round by St. Louis in 2001 and spent 10 seasons in the NFL. He played in the Super Bowl with the Rams in 2001 as a rookie.
WILDABOUTAZCATS.net publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes blogs for Lindy’s College Sports, TucsonCitizen.com and Sports Illustrated-sponsored site ZonaZealots.com.