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Report: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel candidate for Arizona job

UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel signals to players before the first half of their NCAA Pac-12 Championship college football game against Oregon in Eugene, Ore., on Friday, Dec. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Former UCLA Bruins head coach Rick Neuheisel is a candidate for the Arizona football head coaching job left vacant by the fired Rich Rodriguez, reports’s Jason Scheer.

One of Scheer’s sources added Neuheisel is a leading candidate to join the Wildcats, and he has told Arizona Athletic Director Dave Heeke that former Arizona player and defensive line coach Joe Salave’a could be defensive coordinator. is also reporting Neuheisel’s candidacy. However, the Arizona Daily Star reports that Neuheisel has yet to interview with Arizona.

The 56-year-old Neuheisel has been in broadcasting since being fired from UCLA in 2011. He is familiar with the Pac-12 having played at UCLA and had two stints coaching for the Bruins, first as an assistant from 1988-1993. He also was the Colorado offensive coordinator in 1994 before becoming head coach from 1995-98.

Neuheisel jumped to Washington from 1999-2002 and then spent 2005-07 with the Baltimore Ravens as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.

He returned to UCLA as head coach in 2008.

Neuheisel has an 87-59 record as a college head coach.

He joins other former head coaches currently employed as broadcasters who have been linked to Arizona.

Multiple reports indicated former LSU coach Les Miles had some interest in the Wildcats’ opening. Kevin Sumlin, who as Texas A&M head coach worked with current interim coach and defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, has also been linked to the opening.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported Tuesday that Troy coach Neal Brown and Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin are also in the mix.


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