Arizona Athletes Now Head Coaches

Arizona athletes as head coaches at 44 with Alabama hiring Margo Geer

Former Arizona swimming standout Margo Geer’s hire yesterday at Alabama by former Wildcat athletic director Greg Byrne maintains the total of former Arizona athletes as current head coaches at 44.

Geer will take over for former Arizona swimmer Coley Stickels, who resigned after 18 months in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in order to focus on training athletes for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo and other national and international competitions. 

Margo Geer had a storied career as a swimmer at Arizona (Arizona Athletics photo)

Geer, the 2015 World Champion and four-time Pan American Games gold medalist, will officially become the head coach after the 2021 Olympics, in which she is hoping to compete.

In the interim, associate head coach Ozzie Quevedo will lead the men’s and women’s teams.

Geer, a volunteer assistant coach for the Crimson Tide, is a 27-time All-American, winning three NCAA Championships while at Arizona and was the 2015 Pac-12 Woman of the Year and finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Margo Geer earned the Pac-12 Woman of the Year honor in 2015

Stickels joined Alabama in April 2019, coaching all of the shortened 2019-20 season in addition to the fall portion this year. A total of 24 student-athletes qualified for the 2020 NCAA Championships and 22 earned a total of 57 All-America honors under his tutelage. At the 2020 SEC Championships, Alabama broke 23 school records and earned a combined 15 medals.

During his career at Arizona, Stickels was a 14-time All-American, graduating cum laude in 2001. He was named a First-Team Academic All-American and First-Team Academic All-Pac 10 in 2000.

Stickels was also a member of the U.S. National Team from 1999-2000 and also swam for Team USA at the Short Course World Championships in 1999.

Here is a list of Arizona athletes who are now a head coach:


List of head coaches of various sports and different levels who competed at Arizona. Compiled by
NameUATeam SportStart
Adia Barnes1995-99ArizonaWomen's hoops2016
Heidi Bomberger-Bruschi1993-97Attleboro (MA) Feehan HSVolleyball 2020
Matt Brase2003-05Pallacanestro Varese (Italy)Men's hoops2022
Robert Bonillas1995-98Desert View HSFootball2012
Tod Brown1990-94New MexicoBaseball2022
Casey Candaele1979-82Buffalo (AAA) Blue JaysBaseball2021
Jackie Coburn2002-05Scottsdale Horizon HSSoftball2013
Clark Crist1977-80Pulaski (VA) River TurtlesBaseball2021
Debby Day1989-91Cal-LutheranSoftball2002
Shelley Duncan1999-2001Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA) YankeesBaseball2023
Byron Evans 1983-86South Mountain HSFootball2020
Terry Francona1977-80Cleveland IndiansMLB2013
Tanya Farhat-Villarreal1994-97West Bend (WI) Slinger HSSoftball2015
Brenda Frese1989-93MarylandWomen's hoops2002
Kristie Fox2004-07UNLVSoftball2017
Margo Geer2011-14AlabamaSwimming/Diving2020
Chip Hale 1984-87ArizonaBaseball 2022
Jason Hisey1988-91Canyon del Oro HSBaseball2019
Jack Howell1983Tri-City (A) AngelsBaseball2021
Krista Humphreys1993-96Corona (CA) Centennial HSSoftball2015
Mark Keel1979-82Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap HSFootball2000
Steve Kerr1983-88Golden State WarriorsNBA2014
Andy Litten1999-03Scottsdale Horizon HSFootball2021
Hunter Long2013-15Douglas HSFootball2019
Caitlin Lowe2004-07Arizona Softball2022
Brandon Manumaleuna1997-00Lawndale (CA) Leuzinger HSFootball2020
Jennifer Martinez-Walls2008-09Abraham Baldwin (GA) JCSoftball2017
Craig McMillan1984-88Santa Rosa (CA) JCMen's hoops2000
Richard Mercado2002-04Santa Ana (CA) Mater Dei HSBaseball2019
Leighton Milton1992-93Hollywood (CA) HSFootball2020
Edwin Mulitalo1995-98Southern VirginiaFootball2018
Ronnie Palmer2005-08Monterrey Peninsula (CA) JCFootball2020
Jose Portilla1996-97Heritage AcademyFootball2017
Rebekah Quiroz2002Pima CCSoftball2019
Colt Sedbrook2006-08Crown College (MN)Baseball2024
Jason Stewart1997-99Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito HSBoys hoops2014
Damon Stoudamire1992-95Georgia TechMen's hoops2023
Rafael Valenzuela2008-10Bowling Green (A) RaysBaseball2023

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! 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, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, 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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