After losing 12 straight games and suffering a humiliating 70-7 loss to rival ASU, Arizona moved quickly, firing coach Kevin Sumlin bringing an end to his time in Tucson where he went 9-20 in his three seasons with the program.
This launched a coaching search that saw its ups and downs and featured football alumni coming together to help make a difference for a once-respected program.
During the search, names such as Ken Niumatalolo, Antonio Pierce, Brett Brennan, and Joe Salave’a were discussed as potential candidates to be named the next Arizona coach, sparking the imagination of alumni and the Wildcat faithful.
On Dec. 23, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter announced that Arizona was set to make a somewhat surprising hire naming Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch the next head coach to lead Arizona’s program.
Patriots’ QB coach Jedd Fisch is being named the new head coach at the University of Arizona, per @FieldYates and me. Arizona expected to announce hire today.
Fisch now will replace recently fired HC Kevin Sumlin while the Patriots lose another assistant.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 23, 2020
The announcement shook the Arizona fanbase and alumni sending many to social media to vent their frustrations with the coaching hire and the process of the search.
Since the hiring, Fisch has talked to the media twice and has met often with former players to discuss his plan and vision for the future of Arizona football.
I caught up with Arizona football alumni Joe Tafoya, Brandon Sanders, Julius Holt, and Ortege Jenkins. Their careers in Tucson were in the prime of Arizona football with coaching legends Larry Smith and Dick Tomey from 1980 to 2000.
Here’s our conversation about what coach Fisch needs to do to win over the Tucson community and what has transpired since the announcement of his hiring:
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.