Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff: 61 days

We are now only 61 days until the Arizona Wildcats kick off their 2018 season under new coach Kevin Sumlin.

When Arizona hosts BYU on Sept. 1, it will mark the 40th anniversary since the Wildcats joined the Pac-12 (went from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10 then) and also the 20th anniversary of the 1998 team with the best record in school history, 12-1, and the 25th anniversary of the 1993 team that went 10-2 with a win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

To get ready for the upcoming season, All Sports Tucson offers another countdown, which will include memories from former Wildcats, history notes and a look ahead to the season. Think of it as a way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against the Cougars marking the start of the Sumlin Era.

To catch up on the countdown click on this: Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff.

A look back

— With it being the 61st day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 61 for Arizona? That would be lineman on both sides of the all, Ed Brown. He became a fixture in local high school athletics. The ex-Marine was the first black head coach at a Tucson school when he was hired to be football coach when Cholla opened in 1969.

The football field at Cholla High School is named after Ed Brown (1977 Tucson Citizen photo)

An Arizona Hall of Famer, also for his track and field exploits, Brown coached at Cholla until his retirement in 1987. He passed away from leukemia in 2012 at the age of 80.

Player interview — Doug Pfaff

Doug Pfaff was a placekicker at Arizona in 1988 and 1989, best known for his game-winning field goal that allowed Arizona to upset No. 3 Oklahoma 6-3 at Arizona Stadium — one of the best plays in Wildcat history — and No. 11 Washington 20-17 on the road in 1989. Pfaff’s son Blake is a redshirt freshman safety with the Wildcats. Pfaff is a health care manager who now lives in Tempe.

Doug Pfaff with his wife Christina (Pfaff photo)

Favorite Arizona game?

“My favorite game was our 6-3 win against No. 3-ranked Oklahoma. It was a great defensive battle and our defense totally shut down their offense, who was scoring over 50 points a game. The offense had a great drive late in the game to set me up for the game winning field goal with 2 seconds left. The stadium went nuts. I still remember the crowd rushing the field and they carried me off the field.”

Favorite Arizona player?

“My favorite player is Chuck Cecil because he could change the momentum of a game with his crushing tackles or how he always seemed to create turnovers when we needed them.”

Favorite play?

“My favorite play would have to be the game winning field goal against Oklahoma but I also remember two hits by Darryll Lewis’ against the OU QB that knocked him out of the game and showed everyone we were as good or better than OU.”

Doug Pfaff and his Arizona teammates celebrate his 40-yard field goal with two seconds left to give the Wildcats a 6-3 win over No. 6 Oklahoma in 1989 (YouTube)

Favorite coach memory

“What I remember most about Coach Tomey was before we played ASSU in 1989, they had a lineman claiming that they could play smashmouth football with us. Well, that fired up our offense and we pounded them all day long and beat them 28-10 to keep the unbeaten streak going. I never lost to ASSU.”

What excites you most about this season?

“What I get excited most about this season is that I feel the Coach Sumlin and his staff will return the Cats to the upper echelon of the Pac-12 where we belong. It is time for the Cats to expect a conference championship every year in football and I think we will compete for it this year!”


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.

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