The 5: Things to know about new Arizona head football coach Jedd Fisch

Dec 24, 2020, 12:00 PM | Updated: 1:09 pm

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Jedd Fisch of the UCLA Bruins in action during the in the fir...

PHOENIX, AZ - DECEMBER 26: Head coach Jedd Fisch of the UCLA Bruins in action during the in the first half of the Cactus Bowl against the Kansas State Wildcats at Chase Field on December 26, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

For the second time since 2018, the Arizona Wildcats have a new head football coach.

This time around, it’s former New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch taking over at the helm.

However, this wasn’t Fisch’s first interview with Arizona, as the new Wildcats head coach was also a candidate for the job back in 2017 when the school decided to go with Kevin Sumlin.

This also won’t be Fisch’s first gig in college football or even the Pac-12, as the head coach has spent time with Florida (1999-2000), Miami (2011-2012), Michigan (2015-16) and UCLA (2017).

Here are the five things to know about the Arizona Wildcats’ new head football coach Jedd Fisch:

Coaching apprenticeships

While Fisch has never been hired as a head coach and has only served in an interim capacity, the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach has a rather impressive list of coaching apprenticeships.

Since enrolling at the University of Florida as a student back in 1999 because of then-head coach Steve Spurrier, Fisch has also worked under the likes of Brian Billick, Vic Fangio, Mike Shanahan, Pete Carroll, Jim Harbaugh, Sean McVay and Bill Belichick.

“My approach is direct. It is a direct reflection of many of the great leaders of whom I’ve had the honor of working, and they’ve all taught me how to win and what it means to win and how to win big,” Fisch told reporters via Zoom on Wednesday.

“We will bring back Desert Swarm and we will do it in our unique way. We need to swarm the state of Arizona. We need to own the state of Arizona. We have a five-game lead in the Territorial Cup after 94 games, and we need to extend that lead. And it comes from ownership of the Pac-12 South — it becomes of ownership of the state of Arizona.”

Leaving sticky notes on Spurrier’s car

Believe it or not, but there’s no questioning how badly Fisch wanted to get into football.

As a student at Florida before having multiple graduate assistant coaches was the norm, he left sticky notes on Spurrier’s car asking to meet with the new Arizona head coach to discuss the X’s and O’s of the game.

After over a whopping 400 days (over a year straight), Spurrier finally invited Fisch in for a meeting and the rest is history, as the two maintain a close personal relationship to this day.

Fisch joked that a lot of creativity went into those sticky notes and that they weren’t the same every day.

“I didn’t just hit computer-print and redo it again,” he explained. “We had handwritten notes, we had packets — everything possible to sell and to get an opportunity to be resilient, and that’s one of our core traits with our Arizona football players.”

Daughter enrolled at Arizona

If Fisch needed a non-football reason to choose the Wildcats’ head coaching job, look no further than his family.

The head coach’s oldest daughter is a 21-year-old student at the University of Arizona, as well as at Pima Community College in Tucson.

Fisch said he’s excited to bring the family together again and that his 11-year-old middle daughter “will be a regular in the football building and on the practice field.”

“We are a football family and when we enter Tucson, Arizona, and the gates of the campus of the University of Arizona, we will make the entire university proud and we will be a part of everything the university has to offer,” he said.

Heart surgery

Fisch — who turns 45 years old in May — had to have major heart surgery back in 2003 prior to the age of 30.

The operation was performed by Dr. Joseph Coselli, who later became a colleague of university president Robert Robbins, who is also a cardiac surgeon.

However, Robbins told reporters during a Zoom call on Wednesday that although there is a heart connection, the first time he met Fisch was during the 2017 interview process.

Never played football

Perhaps the most bizarre bit about Fisch is the fact that he was never an actual football player.

Other than coaching, the closest he came to stepping on the playing field was as a ball boy for a high school team.

But that hasn’t stopped the former tennis player from New Jersey in his quest to become a head coach of a Division I college football program, which came to fruition on Wednesday.

“I can’t list [everyone], but please know that you are an integral part of making this tennis player the head football coach at the University of Arizona.”

Arizona Football

Jordan Morgan...

Arizona Sports

Arizona OL, potential 1st-round pick Jordan Morgan shows off speed at NFL Draft Combine

Arizona left tackle Jordan Morgan had the opportunity to show off his speed and athleticism at the NFL Combine on Sunday.

1 day ago

Jacob Cowing...

Arizona Sports

Arizona’s Jacob Cowing shows off elite speed at NFL Scouting Combine

NFL Draft prospect Jacob Cowing from Arizona put up one of the fastest 40-yard dash times among wide receivers at the combine.

2 days ago

An empty podium is seen at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by...

David Veenstra

What to watch for: 2024 NFL Scouting Combine schedule, preview and more

The NFL Scouting Combine begins this week in Indianapolis. Here's a complete guide for college and professional fans across Arizona.

6 days ago

Quarterback Jayden de Laura #7 prepares for a game at Arizona Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Tucson...

Tom Kuebel

Former Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura declares for NFL Draft

Jayden de Laura declared for the NFL Draft and will forego his fifth season of college football eligibility.

10 days ago

Arizona Wildcats director of athletic Desiree Reed-Francois is introduced...

Arizona Sports

Arizona AD Reed-Francois: Financial shortfall not ‘incredibly unique’

University of Arizona director of athletics Desiree Reed-Francois departed Missouri because it was an "opportunity to come home."

13 days ago

A general overview of Arizona Stadium before the college football game between the Arizona Wildcats...

David Veenstra

University of Arizona hires Desireé Reed-Francois as new athletic director

The University of Arizona hired Desireé Reed-Francois as its new athletic director on Monday. She is expected to sign a five-year deal.

14 days ago

The 5: Things to know about new Arizona head football coach Jedd Fisch