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A head coach in his fourth year reaches his first full cycle of recruits, which means his undeniable stamp is on the program.
Mike Stoops is a distant, faded memory, with only four of his signed recruits from 2011 still on the roster as redshirt seniors. Those four players have competed only under Rich Rodriguez. Three other redshirt seniors — safety Johnny Jackson, linebacker Sir Thomas Jackson and punter Drew Riggleman — started their careers as walk-ons.
Rodriguez, 26-14 in his first three seasons at Arizona, will have 91.8 percent of his scholarship players — either recruited or granted a scholarship as a walk-on — on the roster when the Wildcats open the 2015 season on Sept. 3 against Texas-San Antonio.
Rodriguez is the 11th Arizona coach to enter a fourth season. An incredible 17 have not made it that far.
History suggests that after those coaches who lasted three years or less, great things followed two coaches later. Arizona has showed the resiliency of moving past its most difficult times because of those most successful coaches.
Rodriguez follows in that pattern.
Click on “Next” in the slideshow to view other notes related to Arizona and its fourth-year coaches …
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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo: