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Arizona announces A.J. Steward as running backs coach

Arizona Wildcats running back J.J. Taylor (21) runs the ball during the college football game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils on November 30, 2019 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats are bringing in a new running backs coach.

Following DeMarco Murray’s departure for Oklahoma, A.J. Steward will be the new running backs coach for the Wildcats.

“A.J. brings a work ethic and experience that will impact the development of our student-athletes in a very positive way,” Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin said in a press release. “His passion for the game, passion for making a difference and his recruiting background make him a great fit for our staff.”

Steward spent the last two seasons as the running backs coach at BYU. His running backs at BYU averaged 159.1 rushing yards per game and posted 25 rushing touchdowns last season.

“My wife Virginia and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to come to Tucson and make the University of Arizona our home,” Steward said in the release. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be able to continue my coaching career under someone like Coach Sumlin, and I can’t wait to get to work with our young men.”

Prior to his time at BYU, Steward spent six seasons at Rice as a graduate assistant and then as the running backs coach for four seasons. During the 2017 season, Rice averaged 187.0 yards per game which was the second best in Conference USA and 38th nationally.

Before his coaching career, Steward played in 37 games in four seasons at the University of Kansas. He was originally a quarterback before playing wide receiver and then tight end.


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