Arizona Football

Arizona officially adds legendary Chuck Cecil to coaching staff

Some information provided by the Arizona media relations department:

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch has announced another hiring of a Wildcat legend as an assistant — Chuck Cecil, a former NFL defensive coordinator, Pro Bowl safety and a College Football Hall of Famer.

Cecil will coach the defensive backs. Fellow College Football Hall of Famer Ricky Hunley was announced earlier in the day as the defensive line coach.
“I am very proud to add another college football hall of famer to our staff who bleeds blue and red,” Fisch said in a statement released by the university. “Chuck is well known and widely respected throughout the NFL as well as the Tucson community. His addition to our coaching staff will bring decades of elite coaching and playing experience, collegiately and professionally.  I know he will have a tremendous impact on our student-athletes by showing them what they can achieve on the field, in the classroom and in the community.”

Cecil mentioned he wants to “bring back the grit, toughness and character of Arizona football.”

“The University of Arizona and the Tucson Community is home to me, and I am proud to serve the Wildcat football program and its incredible student-athletes as defensive backs coach,” he said. “I am grateful to Coach Fisch for the opportunity to work alongside him and the entire UArizona coaching staff.”
Cecil has spent the last four years with the program as both an interim defensive coordinator and senior defensive analyst (a position that did not allow him to directly coach the players).

Prior to joining the Wildcats, Cecil served as the senior defensive coach for the Los Angeles Rams (2015-2017). The Rams defense ranked in the top 10 of the NFL during the 2016 season. In 2012, Cecil shared in the Rams defensive coordinator responsibilities and served as the defensive backs coach. The defense improved from 26th (2011) to 14th (2012) while the secondary ranked second for the fewest passing touchdowns in the league in 2014.

In the 2010 and 2009 seasons, Cecil was the defensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans. As the architect of a solid run and pressure-oriented defense, the defense finished the 2009 season ranked 11th overall in the NFL. Tennessee ranked eighth in the league in interceptions (20) and second in interceptions returned for touchdown (four). During his final three years, the Titans defense ranked third in the NFL in interceptions (62) behind only Green Bay and Baltimore.

A veteran secondary coach, Cecil taught and developed a defensive back core that grew into one of the finest secondary units in the league. During the 2008 season as the defensive back coach, three of the four players were invited to the Pro Bowl for the first time in their careers. It was the first time in NFL history that three players from the same secondary represented the team in the Pro Bowl. Overall, they had 19 interceptions, which ranked second in the NFL. Prior, Cecil coached safeties and nickel backs.

A Pro Bowl Safety, Cecil played seven years in the NFL. Selected by the Green Bay Packers in 1988, Cecil was known as a ferocious player and was featured on the 1993 cover of Sports Illustrated with the title “Is Chuck Cecil Too Vicious for the NFL?”  Cecil played seven years in the NFL. The Green Bay Packers (1988-92), Phoenix Cardinals (1993), and Houston Oilers (1995) during which he notched 461 tackles, 16 interceptions, and one touchdown.
One of the most accomplished and decorated players in Arizona football history, Cecil played for the Wildcats from 1984-87 under head coaches Larry Smith and Dick Tomey.  

During his career in Tucson, Cecil tallied 392 total tackles, 21 interceptions, and 38 passes defensed. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. His 106-yard interception return in the 1986 Territorial Cup still stands as the longest interception return in program history and he remains in the program’s top 10 career leaderboards in tackles, interceptions, and pass breakups.
Cecil is married to Carrie Gerlach Cecil, and the duo have one daughter Charli (15), and two dogs.
Arizona – Defensive Backs Coach (2021-current)
Arizona – Interim Defensive Coordinator/Safeties (2019)
Arizona – Senior Defensive Analyst (2018-2020)
Los Angele Rams – Senior Defensive Assistant (Defense & Offense) (2015-2017)
St. Louis Rams – Defensive Backs Coach (2013 & 2014)
St. Louis Rams – Co-Defensive Coordinator & Defensive Backs Coach (2012)
Tennessee Titans – Defensive Coordinator (2009 & 2010)
Tennessee Titans – Defensive Backs Coach (2007 & 2008)
Tennessee Titans – Safeties and Nickel Backs Coach (2004-2006)              
Tennessee Titans – Defensive Assistant/Quality Control (2001-2003)
NCAA College Football Hall of Fame Induction (2010)
University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame Inductee (1993)
Pro Bowl Selection (1992)
All-Madden Selection (1991)                                                                                                                          
Pac-10 Conference Medal winner (1988)                                                                                                       
NCAA Today’s Top VI Award recipient (1988)
Consensus All-American (1987)
UPI, Football News, Kodak, Walter Camp and Coaches All-America selection (1987)                   
Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist (1986-87)                                                                                                        
Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year (1987)                                                                                                   
Aloha Bowl MVP (1986)
Sun Bowl MVP (1985)                                                                                                                                       
Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist (1986-87)                                                                                           
Hula Bowl (1988)                                                                                                                                      
Member of the Pac-10 Defensive Team of the Decade (1980)                                                                     
Two-time All-Pac-10 First Team (1986, 1987)
Two-time Academic All-America First Team (1986, 1987)                                                                      
Academic All-America Second Team (1985)

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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