Jedd Fisch proved to be a great recruit in Arizona, but now after three seasons of reviving the Wildcats football program, he's gone to Seattle to replace Kalen DeBoer in Washington. Who could Arizona target as it prepares to move to the Big 12?
The obvious choice to replace him is the guy Arizona almost hired last time: San Jose State coach Brent Brennan. The 50-year-old former Arizona graduate assistant was coming off his best season at San Jose State in 2020 when the job last opened, as the Spartans went 7-1 and finished No. 24. Brennan has stabilized the SJSU program and continues to excite Your admiration for one of the most difficult jobs in FBS. The Spartans have had back-to-back winning seasons despite the additional new challenges that have come from the new era of the transfer portal. Brennan is well respected among his peers and throughout the state of Arizona. I think it will be a favorite this time.
Washington State coach Jake Dickert He did an admirable job with all kinds of challenges and brought much-needed stability to a program that had been plagued by every issue imaginable over the past five years. He took office two years ago after Nick Rolovich's short tenure culminated in his ouster in what became a public fight over the state of coronavirus vaccination. The Cougars also had to deal with the deaths of two teammates from 2018, and then there was the matter of seeing the school fall behind as the Pac-12 split and Wazzu was stuck without a home. Dickert's players credit him with bringing organization and showing passion for both sides of the ball. His record in three seasons is a modest 15-16, but that doesn't come close to telling just how good he is for the Cougars.
UNLV coach Barry Odom He's done a really good job at a place that has only had one winning season since 2000. The Rebels went 9-5 in his first season, and the former Missouri coach has shown a lot of growth since his first time running the program. The 47-year-old from Oklahoma fits well into the Big 12 footprint and has deep ties to the state of Texas.
Arizona offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Brennan Carroll It would provide some continuity to the Fisheye system, which might be attractive. The 44-year-old son of Pete Carroll is a former USC recruiting coordinator and was Fisch's right-hand man as they overhauled Arizona State and turned the Wildcats into a top-25 team and a legitimate power on the West Coast. The younger Carroll's ability to find and acquire talent has been a big key to Arizona's renaissance.
Texas State coach JJ Kane, 35, has had a rapid rise. In his only season in FCS Incarnate Word led the program to a 12-2 season and a third-place finish. This year, in his first season at Texas State, he led the Bobcats to an 8-5 record and a bowl win in a program that had been struggling. He's a creative offensive mind that will likely keep people in Tucson motivated.
UNLV offensive coordinator Brennan Marion, Kane's old college teammate in Tulsa, is another rookie who is expected to receive some attention. The 36-year-old former Tulsa tight end helped Odom turn things around in Vegas. Marion's Go-Go offense was the spark, leading the MWC in scoring despite losing starting QB Doug Brumfield to injury in September. Marion turned to freshman QB Jayden Maiava, who led an offense that has scored 40 points in four straight games, the first at UNLV. Maiava has since transferred to USC.
Oregon State offensive coordinator Will Stein, 34, is another interesting name to keep an eye on. The former Louisville QB, who later was a high school coach in Texas, has had a meteoric rise going from UTSA offensive coordinator to a senior senior season at Oregon in 2023. The Ducks' offense was No. 2 in the nation in yards per play.
(Top image by Brent Brennan: Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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