Ex-Arizona football assistant coaches: Where are they now?

Mark Stoops has led Kentucky to three consecutive bowl games.Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gimino

There are now nine former Arizona Wildcats assistants who are head coaches at the top levels of college football, with running backs coach Clarence McKinney joining the group Monday as the new football boss at Texas Southern.

It's an impressive list that includes Mark Stoops (the SEC Coach of the Year), Dino Babers (leading a revival at Syracuse) and Josh Heupel, who has UCF at 13-0 in his first season, following in the footstep of Scott Frost and the Knights' unbeaten 2017 season.

This is the time of year in which coaches start to move around, so I compiled a list of all the former Arizona assistants who are still coaching in college or in the NFL.

The names on this list date back 45 years -- all the way to Mike Hankwitz, whose first full-time coaching job came in 1973 at Arizona under Jim Young. Hankwitz, who later served as interim head coach for the Wildcats in 2003 after John Mackovic's dismissal, is still going strong as the defensive coordinator for Big Ten West champ Northwestern.

Ex-Arizona assistants as current head coaches

--Dino Babers, Syracuse (3rd year with Orange; 7th year as head coach)

--Bob Davie, New Mexico (7th year with Lobos; 12 years as head coach)

--Dana Dimel, UTEP (1st year with Miners; 7th year as head coach

--Sonny Dykes, SMU (1st year with Mustangs; 8th year as head coach)

--Josh Heupel, UCF (1st year as head coach)

--Seth Littrell, North Texas (3rd year as head coach)

--Clarence McKinney, Texas Southern (hired Dec. 3)

--Frank Scelfo, Southeastern Louisiana (1st year as head coach)

--Mark Stoops, Kentucky (6th year as head coach)

Here is the list of 59 former Arizona assistants who are working elsewhere (11 of whom are in the Pac-12, and three are at playoff-bound Oklahoma):

Jahmile Addae, 2012-17

Minnesota, defensive backs

Duane Akina, 1987-2000

Stanford, defensive backs

Has coached three Jim Thorpe Award winners as nation's top defensive back, including Darryll Lewis (1990) at Arizona

Pete Alamar, 1995-1999

Stanford, specials teams coordinator

Vince Amey, 2016-17

San Diego Fleet (Alliance of American Football), defensive line coach

Robert Anae, 2011-12

Virginia, offensive coordinator/inside receivers

Steve Axman, 1980-84

Arizona Hotshots (Alliance of American Football), quarterbacks coach

Dino Babers, 1995-2000

Syracuse, head coach

Went 9-3 in this regular season in his third year with the Orange

John Baxter, 1990-1991

USC, special teams coordinator

Innovative coach just wrapped up third season in second stint at USC

Bill Bedenbaugh, 2007-10

Oklahoma, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line

A finalist for the 2017 Broyles Award (nation's top assistant) and a semifinalist this season

Gary Bernardi, 1983-1986

Colorado, tight ends/H-backs

Jay Boulware, 2001-2003

Oklahoma, specials teams coordinator/running backs

Greg Brown, 2010

Auburn, secondary

Mike Canales, 2004-2006

UTEP, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Charlie Camp, 2002

Texas-San Antonio, linebackers

Ex-UA linebacker just finished first season at UTSA

Matt Caponi, 2013-15

West Virginia, safeties

Jeff Casteel, 2012-15

Nevada, defensive coordinator/linebackers

Scooby Wright's position coach at Arizona has been running his 3-3-5 at Nevada for past two seasons

Garret Chachere, 2009-2011

Southeastern Louisiana, passing game coordinator/running backs

Bob Davie, 1979

New Mexico, head coach

Is 33-54 in seven years with Lobos, and school announced he would return for 2019

Tony Dews, 2012-16

Tennessee Titans, running backs

Charlie Dickey, 1992-2003

Kansas State, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line

Dana Dimel, 2005-09

UTEP, head coach

Went 1-11 in rebuilding season in UTEP debut in 2018

Kasey Dunn, 2004-2006

Oklahoma State, receivers

Sonny Dykes, 2007-2009

SMU, head coach

Was Cal head coach from 2013-16; was 5-7 this season in first year at SMU

Tony Gibson, 2012

West Virginia, defensive coordinator/linebackers

Jeff Hammerschmidt, 1993-95; 2008-11

New York Jets, assistant special teams coach

In third season with Jets, working under former Arizona LB Brant Boyer, the special teams coordinator

Mike Hankwitz, 1973-1976; 2003

Northwestern, defensive coordinator

Jeff Hecklinski, 2003

Indiana State, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Josh Heupel, 2005

UCF, head coach

Mike Stoops gave Heupel first full-time coaching job, coaching TEs; took over UCF this season after departure of Scott Frost

Rob Ianello, 1993-2002

Buffalo, associate head coach/recruiting coordinator/wide receivers

Bobby Kennedy, 2001

Stanford, wide receivers

Tim Kish, 2003-2011

Oklahoma, inside linebackers

Brian Knorr, 2017

Air Force, spur safeties

Seth Littrell, 2009-2011

North Texas, head coach

With Air Raid offense and 18 wins in past two seasons, he's a hot candidate to move up in coaching world

Lawrence Livingston, 2000

Lane College, quarterbacks coach

David Lockwood, 2012-15

Nevada, secondary

Marty Long, 1996-2003

Northwestern, defensive line

Larry Mac Duff, 1987-1996, 2001-02

San Diego Fleet (Alliance of American Football), special teams coordinator/linebackers coach

Calvin Magee, 2012-17

New Mexico, offensive coordinator/running backs

John Matsko, 1986

Carolina Panthers, running game coordinator

Clarence McKinney, 2018

Texas Southern, head coach

Longtime Kevin Sumlin assistant returns to Houston to take over 2-9 program

Jim Michalczik, 2013-17

Oregon State, associate head coach/run game coordinator/offensive line

Dave Nichol, 2008-2011

Washington State, inside receivers

Charlie Ragle, 2013-15

Cal, special teams coordinator/tight ends

Joe Robinson, 2004-2007

UTEP, special teams coordinator

Joe Salave'a, 2011

Oregon, associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator/defensive coordinator

Former Arizona standout DT seems to be working his way up to a head coaching assignment

Frank Scelfo, 2010-11

Southeastern Louisiana, head coach

Nick Foles' QB coach for two seasons at Arizona went 4-7 in first season with Lions of FCS

Rip Scherer, 1989-1990

Los Angeles Chargers, tight ends

Michael Smith, 2007-09

Kentucky, receivers

Richard Smith, 1987

Los Angeles Chargers, linebackers

Rod Smith, 2012-17

Illinois, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Steve Spurrier Jr., 2004

Washington State, outside receivers

Mark Stoops, 2004-2009

Kentucky, head coach

In sixth season at Kentucky, has Wildcats on the rise with 9-3 regular season

Mike Tuiasosopo, 2004-2010

UTEP, defensive line

Also had stops at Colorado, UCLA and USC after Arizona

Ryan Walters, 2011

Missouri, defensive coordinator/secondary

Young, rising assistant received first full-time job from Mike Stoops in 2011

Charlie Williams, 2004-2006

South Florida, receivers

Donte' Williams, 2015-16

Oregon, cornerbacks

Eric Wolford, 2004-2006

South Carolina, offensive line coach

Kevin Wolthausen, 1985-1986

Purdue, special teams/defense

Darrell Wyatt, 2007

UCF, wide receivers

Comments (3)
No. 1-2
Anthony Gimino
Anthony Gimino


A ton of high-profile changes from last season. I think I can tackle that next week during Arizona's bye.


This is an impressive list. Should do another one for the start of the year