Ex-Arizona Wildcats coaching in college, NFL

Brant BoyerMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gimino

I'm not counting on spring football practice resuming, but when (if?) college football returns in the fall, more than a dozen former Arizona Wildcats will be on the sideline coaching in college or the professional ranks.

Many, many more are doing great work coaching in high school, and we're sure we'd miss plenty if we tried to list them all. But we did want to shout out to a trio of new head coaches in the high school ranks, including All-American linebacker Byron Evans (1983-86) at South Mountain High School in Phoenix, standout receiver and all-around badass Jay Dobyns (1982-1984) at Tanque Verde High and defensive lineman Leighton Milton (1992-93) at Hollywood (Calif.) High.

Here are the ex-Wildcats coaching in college football (if you know of someone else, let me know in the comments section):

Charlie Dickey -- Oklahoma State, offensive line coach

UA offensive lineman, 1983-84

Widely respected veteran who coached at Arizona from 1999 to 2003. Last season was his first at Oklahoma State after a long run under legendary Bill Snyder at Kansas State.

Peter Hansen -- UNLV, defensive coordinator

UA special teams, 1998-2001

Signed as a quarterback, the 6-foot-8 Hansen became noted for his kick-blocking abilities (he blocked seven during his UA career) and even dabbled on the hardwood for coach Lute Olson's basketball team. He spent the past six seasons coaching Stanford's inside linebackers before being hired by UNLV as coordinator.

Edwin Mulitalo -- Southern Virginia, head coach

UA offensive lineman, 1997-98

A 10-year NFL veteran who started 128 of his 132 games, Mulitalo has spent the past two seasons at Southern Virginia, a Division III school. He has a 7-13 record.

Antonio Pierce -- Arizona State, associate head/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers

UA linebacker, 1999-2000

Very much a rising star in the coaching profession after a nine-year NFL career that included Pro Bowl honors in 2006. Pierce launched onto Herm Edwards' staff in 2018 after four seasons as the head coach at powerhouse Long Beach Poly, bringing with him strong recruiting connections to Southern California.

Joe Salave'a -- Oregon, associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator

UA defensive lineman, 1994-97

Big Joe is a on a head-coaching track, climbing the ladder after Dick Tomey gave him his coaching start at San Jose State in 2008. He coached at Arizona under Mike Stoops in 2011, and I consider it Rich Rodriguez's original sin at UA that he didn't retain Salave'a, who would have stayed if asked but bounced to Washington State instead.

Trevin Wade -- UTEP, cornerbacks

UA cornerback, 2008-11

"Two-star Wade" is starting his college coaching star, hired by UTEP head coach Dana Dimel -- a former Arizona assistant -- in February. Wade is a member of my All-Mike Stoops team at Arizona.

Note: I'm only including on-field coaches in the above list, but we have to mention two guys who were elevated into Arizona coaching roles during the 2019 season -- Chuck Cecil and Hank Hobson. Cecil, who served as interim defensive coordinator, returned to being senior defensive analyst. Hobson is back as analyst.

Note, part II: Former linebacker Ronnie Palmer (2005-08), another member of my All-Mike Stoops team, is the new head coach at Monterey Peninsula College, a community college in California.

Note, part III: Former Arizona quarterback Adam Austin was the offensive coordinator at Eastern Kentucky last season but the head coach got fired. He is a "free agent" coach according to his Twitter bio.

Here are the ex-Cats coaching in the pros:

Brant Boyer -- New York Jets, special teams coordinator

UA linebacker, 1992-93

Desert Swarm-era tough guy carved out a 10-year NFL career before jumping into a successful coaching career. He is entering his fifth season as the Jets' special teams boss.

Dave Fipp -- Philadelphia Eagles, special teams coordinator

UA safety, 1994-97

Has been the Eagles' coordinator since 2013 and helped Philadelphia win the Super Bowl in Feb. 2018.

Jeff Hammerschmidt -- New York Jets, assistant special teams coach

UA safety, 1987-90

Hammer did two tours as a UA assistant coach -- under Dick Tomey and Mike Stoops -- and he jumped from a long college coaching career into the NFL after the Jets hired Brant Boyer as special teams coordinator in Feb. 2016.

Tom Quinn -- New York Giants, assistant special teams coach

UA linebacker, 1988-1990

He has helped coach the Giants' special teams in some capacity since 2006 -- the majority of the time as coordinator -- and has stayed on staff through three coaching changes, including the hiring of Joe Judge this offseason.

Brandon Sanders -- Tucson Sugar Skulls, defensive backs

UA strong safety, 1992-95

Desert Swarm-era hard-hitter is in his first season coaching defensive backs for the Sugar Skulls of the Indoor Football League.

Comments (4)
No. 1-2
Wineknow
Wineknow

fun to see these names again... Thank you.

IMO, an alumni is not always the best coach, but as soon as Heeke and Sumlin get canned I think we may be in need of a savvy alumni to take the reigns. someone who understands a lot of the unique challenges of Arizona and can re-ground the program. We've just strayed so far off course...

mrzipityduda
mrzipityduda

Keith Smith is or was coaching at Newbury HS in Ventury County.


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