Arizona football coach Jedd Fisch: ‘We’re just getting started here’

Dec 15, 2023, 7:57 AM

Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats claps before the game against the Oregon State Beaver...

Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats claps before the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

With Arizona playing in the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners, the team’s first bowl game since 2017, motivation is not a concern for coach Jedd Fisch.

“First of all, we’re playing Oklahoma, so it’s really hard to not get motivated to play Oklahoma,” Fisch told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “We have an opportunity to possibly finish in the top 10 in the country, top 15 (or) top 10, but we can’t miss out on that opportunity, so our players are extremely excited about it and if you love football and you have a chance to play one more game, I’m not exactly sure how you could not get motivated.”

This year’s Alamo Bowl appearance is the result of the program’s transformation and what Fisch has been building at Arizona over the last several years.

The third-year head coach went 1-11 in his first year on the job before finishing last season 5-7. If the Wildcats beat the Sooners, it would be the first time since 2014 and only the fourth time in school history the program has reached 10 wins.

“People want to come to Arizona now and they want to be a part of this,” Fisch said. “Recruits are calling us and transfer portal guys are calling us.”

Despite a plethora of open high-profile jobs and worries that the Florida alum could eventually leave, Fisch wants to continue building the program and expressed his desire to remain in the desert.

“I think (those fears) just kind of go along with the job,” Fisch said. “If you win, people are going to think that you’re going to leave. But I don’t know why we would do that. My family loves it here in Tucson. I’ve got a sixth-grade and ninth-grade daughter. They love it.”

Fisch has said that he wants his assistants and staffers taken care of before reaching a potential extension with the school himself.

He foresees a future with Arizona football having the same level of success that Arizona basketball has had over its history.

“We’re just getting started here,” Fisch said. “We believe we have an opportunity here to turn Arizona football into having the same success that Arizona basketball has had over the last 30 years, but to do that you’ve got to have continuity. To do that you’ve got to have constant support and to do that you’ve got to be able to keep your coaches and keep your players and that’s what we’re working really hard to do.”

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