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A well-placed source said today that current Arizona “analyst” Vince Amey, a former Arizona State defensive tackle standout, will fill Rich Rodriguez’s vacant defensive line coaching position.
Amey’s name had already surfaced in media reports and Arizona coaching circles as a good possibility for the position. The promotion of Amey, to be announced early next week, will complete Rodriguez’s staff, which is preparing for the start of spring practice on Friday.
Amey, a four-year letterman with the Sun Devils from 1994 to 1997, will be in his fifth season at Arizona this fall. He spent the first three years as part of Arizona’s stength and conditioning staff. Last season, he filled the role of football analyst, assisting with the day-to-day duties of program management with a focus on film breakdown.
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Prior to his arrival in Tucson in 2012, Amey, who turns 41 on Tuesday, served as defensive line coach at Scottsdale Chaparral High School under current Arizona tight ends and special teams coach Charlie Ragle. Chaparral won the 2011 state championship with Ragle the head coach and Amey on his staff.
After Rodriguez’s hire at Arizona before the 2012 season, he hired Ragle, who brought Amey with him.
The promotion of Amey by Rodriguez will follow what he did with new safeties coach Jahmile Addae, 33, who had the analyst tag before his promotion. That change occurred after former defensive secondary coach David Lockwood was not retained.
Rodriguez also did not retain longtime associates Jeff Casteel and Bill Kirelawich with the purpose of enhancing Arizona’s recruiting by hiring and promoting younger, aggressive coaches who are more on the level with today’s prospects.
Donte Williams, 33, was hired to coach the cornerbacks and former Boise State defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, only 38, was brought in to be the new defensive coordinator.
Amey, who started for ASU’s 1997 Rose Bowl team and was a Pac-10 honorable mention, played in the NFL in 1998 for the Oakland Raiders. He also played in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League. His nine-year career in the Arena Football League was spent mostly with the Arizona Rattlers.
Attending archrival ASU and then flourishing as a coach or administrator at Arizona is nothing new. Legendary softball coach Mike Candrea and athletics director Greg Byrne earned their bachelor’s degrees at ASU. Candrea also earned his master’s degree at the Tempe school.
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.