Arizona Athletics

UA’s Rodriguez is a coach of the year finalist

Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 George Munger Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, it was announced Thursday by the Maxwell Football Club.

Rodriguez is one of 16 candidates for the award selected by the MFC National Selection Committee.

In his sixth season, Rodriguez has guided the Wildcats to a 7-3 overall record, including a mark of 5-2 in the Pac-12 Conference. It’s the second time in the last four seasons UA will finish with winning conference record, something the Wildcats have done only two other times since 1999.

Rich Rodriguez talks to the media on Signing Day.

Arizona is bowl-bound for the fifth time in Rodriguez’s six seasons with two games to play. The Wildcats were 4-0 in October, going undefeated in the month for first time since 1992 and only the second time in program history. An upset of No. 15 Washington State on Oct. 28 closed out the perfect month, securing the Wildcats’ first victory over a ranked team since 2015.

The 2017 campaign is positioned to be the best offensive season in school history. Through 10 games, Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring average (44.4), rushing average (347.7) and total offense (516.5). The Wildcats currently hold a six-game streak scoring 35 or more points against Pac-12 foes, the longest streak for any FBS team this year against Power 5 opponents.

Additionally, quarterback Khalil Tate has emerged as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy, and is a semifinalist for numerous other national honors, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award. In October, Tate became the first player in the Pac-12 Conference history to earn Player of the Week honors in four consecutive weeks. Additionally, Tate is the first quarterback in league history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Information for this story was provided by Arizona’s sports Communications office.

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