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Former Wildcats Chuck Cecil, Ricky Hunley join Arizona staff

Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil of the Tennessee Titans looks on from the sideline during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on September 10, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Steelers defeated the Titans 13-10 in overtime. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats did not hire one of the several head-coaching candidates directly familiar with their football program. It appears that the man they did hire, Jedd Fisch, heard the calls to connect the program to its past roots.

Fisch, who was introduced as Arizona’s head coach, has added Chuck Cecil as the team’s defensive backs coach and Ricky Hunley as the Wildcats’ defensive line coach.

Both Cecil and Hunley are in the College Football Hall of Fame and have their numbers retired by Arizona.

A hard-hitting safety in his playing days, Cecil is expected to coach defensive backs, while Hunley will take a position leading the front seven.

Cecil starred at Arizona and was a fourth-round NFL Draft selection in 1988.

Following his pro career, Cecil spent 2001-2016 in the NFL coaching defensive backs — he also had a stint as the Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator from 2009-10. Cecil was a senior defensive analyst for the Wildcats under coach Kevin Sumlin from 2018-20 and also served in 2019 as an interim defensive coordinator.

Hunley, a linebacker, was the No.7 overall pick in 1984 and after his playing career coached linebackers or defensive lines at the college and NFL levels from 1992-2015.

Fisch, who himself has no head-coaching experience, is in the early stages of putting together a staff.