Arizona’s Jedd Fisch second-to-last in USA Today’s new head coach rankings
Feb 20, 2021, 9:34 AM
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
It’s safe to say that the folks at USA Today are not high on the new head football coach in Tucson.
The national outlet ranked the Wildcats’ hire of former New England Patriots quarterback coach Jedd Fisch second-to-last in its new head coach hire rankings released on Wednesday.
Paul Myerberg, who compiled the rankings, placed Fisch ahead of newly-minted Louisiana-Monroe and former Auburn head coach Terry Bowden.
Myerberg pointed out Fisch’s lack of ties to the university and his roundabout coaching resume in ranking him so low on the new hire totem pole:
Arizona is banking on a coaching vagabond with one year of Pac-12 experience (UCLA in 2017) having the chops needed to bring the Wildcats out of the conference basement and into the mix for bowl bids, let alone a division title. Fisch has hired well, including the addition of former Michigan assistant Don Brown as his defensive coordinator, but does not seem to match the qualities Arizona initially laid out as prerequisites for its next coach.
Wildcats fans should remember that Myerberg also ranked the team’s recently fired head coach, Kevin Sumlin, third in his 2018 iteration of the same list, showing how futile predicting the success of an incoming coach off an introductory press conference can be.
Back then, Myerberg struck a different tone about the university’s hiring decisions, projecting that Sumlin would turn the Wildcats into a well-oiled offensive machine.
There’s no way Sumlin could have turned down the opportunity at Arizona, which isn’t just smack in the middle of solid recruiting ground — an area Sumlin maximized during his tenure at Texas A&M — but also features a very solid if young roster, notably with quarterback Khalil Tate. Should Sumlin’s schemes take hold, Arizona has the talent to challenge for a national ranking.
Sadly for all involved, the Wildcats went 9-20 under Sumlin, including the now-infamous 70-7 loss to Arizona State that sealed the coach’s fate at the school.