Arizona head coaching job a ‘dream come true’ for Jedd Fisch

Dec 23, 2020, 4:34 PM | Updated: 5:17 pm
(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)...
(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)
(AP Photo/Steven Senne, Pool)

New Arizona Wildcats head football coach Jedd Fisch has had a career path filled with numerous coaching stops.

Since 1997, the Wildcats coach has worked for 12 different institutions from college to pro ball, holding 15 titles over that time.

Fisch’s resume is long and features some big names above him, but also shows short periods of time with each stop.

None, however, rival the latest gig he took Wednesday.

“The easy answer is none of those stops were to become a head coach,” Fisch said via Zoom when talking about his previous coaching jobs. “This is a stop to become a head coach so there is nowhere else to go. This is where I want to be. That was the ultimate goal, the ultimate dream, the ultimate path to get there for me.

“A lot of people take a lot of different paths. Our profession, as you know, is extremely unique in that regard. A lot of times you wind up either leaving a job based on circumstances or opportunity. I’ve had some incredible opportunities to learn and, at that point in time, I didn’t want to pass up those opportunities so when this job was to arise I was going to be ready and the most prepared I possibly could be.”

Fisch first got his taste of head coaching as a ball boy for a high school team in 1985-87. It wouldn’t take long for him to get that itch to coach.

But he wasn’t looking at staying at the high school level, he was aiming to be a college head coach. He told his parents as much.

Now, he’s been given the keys to a Wildcats team that is looking to turn the page from the last three years. It’s the same job he interviewed for back in 2017 when Kevin Sumlin was given the nod. It’s a whole different dynamic in 2020, however.

Looking at 12 consecutive losses dating back to last season, Arizona is in desperate need of not only a quick turnaround but a solid foundation from which it can grow.

They’re hoping Fisch and the knowledge he has picked up over the course of his career will translate to the team in Tucson.

From the sound of it, he learned a good deal while a member of the Los Angeles Rams from 2018-19.

“Everything I learned from [Rams head coach] Sean [McVay] was even better [than the 24 wins and Super Bowl appearance],” Fisch said. “To be honest with you, what I learned from Sean’s dad might have taken the cake.

“Tim McVay once told me ‘Jedd, we will compete with schematics but we will win with people. That is going to be our mindset and that is going to be our mentality here at the University of Arizona. We are going to win with the right people.”

Those right people Fisch mentions are going to come from a wide-ranging search that focuses on coaches and former athletes alike. That includes NFL coaches and players, Pac-12 coaches and coaches that have played at Arizona and other programs across the country, Fisch said.

The head coach understands that it takes a full staff to be successful.

“It’s going to be a coaching staff that has all sorts of diversity to it,” Fisch said. “We’re going to build a tremendous staff, I feel very confident in that. I feel very confident that one of the greatest assets of moving and being on the different teams that I’ve been on and being involved in being in both college and pro football is the amount of coaches that I’ve come in contact with.

“And the amount of coaches that I believe will be able to bring down to Tucson, I mean who wouldn’t want to be down in Arizona right now? We are as excited as it comes to be a part of something special and I believe wholeheartedly that we will have an outstanding coaching staff sooner rather than later.”

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