Rodriguez leads Wildcats into new era
The former West Virginia and Michigan coach, who is about to begin his first season in charge of the Wildcats, said he wasn't going to return to coaching at just any place, and decided to return to the sideline after a year in the television studio because he viewed this as the right opportunity.
"I'm ready to get back," he said at the Pac-12's media day at Universal Studios in Los Angeles Tuesday.
Rodriguez may find his first season back a bit challenging, as he takes over a team that won just four games last season and is currently working to learn a new offense and defense.
Oh yeah, the season begins September 1.
"We've got to do our jobs as coaches, our players have got to do their jobs, and I think it's going to be a collective effort to a place where we can win championships and compete for championships each and every year," the coach said. "And we can do that at UofA."
That's the goal, though it is certainly not the expectation in 2012.
The Wildcats were picked by the media to finish fourth in the Pac-12 South, and after losing QB Nick Foles, WR Juron Criner and DB Trevin Wade to the NFL, don't exactly have the look of a team ready to big things.
But the one thing they do have going for them is QB Matt Scott, a fifth-year senior who redshirted last season so he could be the starter now.
"It was real tough for me to sit on the sideline and watch the team play," Scott said. "I feel like I wasn't really contributing to the team's success -- as little success as we had."
The QB said it was a real humbling experience to not get on the field last year, but the move worked out pretty well for Rodriguez and the Wildcats, as the coach can turn to a player who has legitimate experience.
"Best decision that coaching staff ever made," Rodriguez quipped. "Redshirt Matt Scott last year, we're fortunate he's here with us."
Scott is the type of dual-threat quarterback that thrives in Rodriguez's offense, though he admits the hope is Scott will not be running as much as others have in this system due to the lack of depth behind him.
"We'll do what it takes to win ballgames, and I know Matt's willing to do that," Rodriguez said. "We'll protect him more because he's the only guy that's got any experience, but at the same time we've got to run our system."
That system is what drew the Wildcats to Rodriguez, and if it works, the school could experience an unprecedented level of success.
But that will likely have to wait a bit.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - 3/29 - Friday March 29The season has come to an end in the most excruciating of ways. Adam and Jarrett break down the loss
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - 3/26 - Tuesday March 26The Wildcats are in the Sweet 16 for the second time in four years. Should we be impressed? Are we w
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - 3/19 - Tuesday March 19Tournaments for everyone! Adam and Jarrett talk about the Pac-12 Tournament result and then Arizona'
- Mike DeCourcy, Sporting News CBB Insider - Monday March 18Doug and Wolf ask DeCourcy what he thinks about this year's NCAA Tournament bracket.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - 3/12 - Tuesday March 12A nice win over Arizona State is followed by the Pac-12 Tournament. How do the Wildcats look? Adam a