Former Arizona Wildcats assistants: Where are they now?

Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops gets a Gatorade bath from his players after winning the 2019 Citrus Bowl against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camping World Stadium.Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Gimino

The college season is beginning in force this week, so I decided to check in on where all the former Arizona Wildcats assistants have scattered.

And this is a list that dates 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.

There are nine former UA assistants who are current head coaches, including Mark Stoops (the 2018 SEC Coach of the Year with Kentucky), Dino Babers (leading a revival at Syracuse) and Josh Heupel, who led UCF to a 13-1 record in his first season.

Here are the ex-Arizona assistants who are current head coaches

--Dino Babers, Syracuse (4th year with Orange; 8th year as head coach)

--Bob Davie, New Mexico (8th year with Lobos; 13th year as head coach)

--Dana Dimel, UTEP (2nd year with Miners; 8th year as head coach

--Sonny Dykes, SMU (2nd year with Mustangs; 9th year as head coach)

--Josh Heupel, UCF (2nd year as head coach)

--Seth Littrell, North Texas (4th year as head coach)

--Clarence McKinney, Texas Southern (1st year as head coach)

--Frank Scelfo, Southeastern Louisiana (2nd year as head coach)

--Mark Stoops, Kentucky (7th year as head coach)

Six of those coaches worked as assistants for Mike Stoops, who, say what you will about him, put together some top-shelf coaching staffs.

Speaking of Mike Stoops ...

One of the most intriguing storylines this year involves the former Arizona head coach, who was fired halfway through last season as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator. He is one of 12 analysts for Alabama head coach Nick Saban, who has become known for his head coach rehabilitation program, which includes Lane Kiffin, Butch Jones, Steve Sarkisian and Mike Locksley. Maybe Mike is the next to get a Bama boost to the next good job.

Here is the list of 57 former Arizona assistants -- plus former head coach Rich Rodriguez -- who are working as on-field coaches in college or the pro ranks (10 of whom are in the Pac-12):

Jahmile Addae, 2015-17

West Virginia, defensive backs

Back at alma mater after working at Minnesota last season

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

Los Angeles Wildcats (XFL), defensive line

Robert Anae, 2011-12

Virginia, offensive coordinator/inside receivers

Dino Babers, 1995-2000

Syracuse, head coach

Went 10-3 last season in his third year with the Orange

John Baxter, 1990-1991

USC, special teams coordinator/tight ends

Innovative coach entering fourth season in second stint at USC

Bill Bedenbaugh, 2007-10

Oklahoma, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line

Regarded as one of nation's best OL coaches; Sooners won 2018 Joe Moore Award for having country's best offensive line

Scott Boone, 2017

North Carolina, special teams coordinator/outside linebackers

Jay Boulware, 2001-2003

Oklahoma, specials teams coordinator/running backs

Greg Brown, 2010

Purdue, cornerbacks

Mike Canales, 2004-2006

UTEP, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Charlie Camp, 2002

Texas-San Antonio, linebackers

Ex-UA linebacker entering second season at UTSA

Matt Caponi, 2013-2015

Iowa State, cornerbacks

Spent the past three seasons at West Virginia

Jeff Casteel, 2012-2015

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

Western Kentucky, running backs

Bob Davie, 1979

New Mexico, head coach

Former Notre Dame head coach is 33-54 in seven years with Lobos

Tony Dews, 2012-2016

Tennessee Titans, running backs

Charlie Dickey, 1992-2003

Oklahoma State, offensive line

Ex-UA offensive lineman had spent the past 10 seasons at Kansas State under Bill Snyder

Dana Dimel, 2005-2009

UTEP, head coach

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

Kasey Dunn, 2004-2006

Oklahoma State, associate head coach/receivers

Sonny Dykes, 2007-2009

SMU, head coach

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

Tony Gibson, 2012

North Carolina State, co-defensive coordinator/safeties

First year with Pack; previously was DC at West Virginia

Joe Gilbert, 2018

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, offensive line

Jeff Hammerschmidt, 1993-95; 2008-11

New York Jets, assistant special teams coach

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

Mike Hankwitz, 1973-1976; 2003

Northwestern, defensive coordinator

Arizona's interim head coach in 2003 after John Mackovic was hired; beginning his 51st season in coaching

Jeff Hecklinski, 2003

Kansas, tight ends

Josh Heupel, 2005

UCF, head coach

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

Rob Ianello, 1993-2002

Buffalo, associate head coach/recruiting coordinator/wide receivers

Bobby Kennedy, 2001

Stanford, wide receivers

Brian Knorr, 2017

Air Force, outside linebackers

Seth Littrell, 2009-2011

North Texas, head coach

Has 18 wins with Air Raid offense in past two seasons

Lawrence Livingston, 2000

Lane College, quarterbacks coach

David Lockwood, 2012-2015

Nevada, secondary

Marty Long, 1996-2003

Northwestern, defensive line

Calvin Magee, 2012-2017

Ole Miss, tight ends

Longtime assistant to Rich Rodriguez followed RichRod to Ole Miss after spending a year at New Mexico

John Matsko, 1986

Carolina Panthers, running game coordinator

Clarence McKinney, 2018

Texas Southern, head coach

Longtime Kevin Sumlin assistant returned to Houston after last season to take over 2-9 program

Jim Michalczik, 2013-2017

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

Dave Nichol, 2008-2011

Washington State, inside receivers

Charlie Ragle, 2013-2015

Cal, special teams coordinator

Joe Robinson, 2004-2007

UTEP, special teams coordinator

Rich Rodriguez, 2012-2017

Ole Miss, offensive coordinator

Former UA head coach brings his zone-read attack to SEC after sitting out a year from coaching

Joe Salave'a, 2011

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

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

Frank Scelfo, 2010-2011

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, 2007-2009

Kentucky, receivers

Richard Smith, 1987

Los Angeles Chargers, linebackers

Rod Smith, 2012-2017

Illinois, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks

Steve Spurrier Jr., 2004

Washington State, outside receivers

Mark Stoops, 2004-2009

Kentucky, head coach

The Wildcats went 10-3 season in his sixth season at Kentucky

Mike Tuiasosopo, 2004-2010

Kansas State, defensive line

Also had stops at Colorado, UCLA, USC and UTEP after Arizona

Ryan Walters, 2011

Missouri, defensive coordinator/safeties

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/defensive line

Darrell Wyatt, 2007

UCF, wide receivers

Comments (3)
No. 1-3

Really glad to hear that Frank Scelfo is now a head coach. From what I've heard and read, he is a really good man and great coach. I know Nic Foles loves him.


Thanks for the updated article on the former coaches. Very nice read.


great read - thank you!