Arizona football coaching staff hires under Brent Brennan
Jan 24, 2024, 4:30 PM | Updated: Jan 25, 2024, 4:32 pm
(Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Arizona Wildcats head coach Brent Brennan has attacked player retainment first. But if that’s his priority, building trust with players who are thinking about entering the transfer portal is about giving them a coaching staff they either know or can build a relationship with quickly.
Here’s the latest coaching staff news for Brennan as he replaces a staff that was gutted with former coach Jedd Fisch’s move to take the head-coaching job with the Washington Huskies.
Arizona Wildcats’ coaching staff additions under Brent Brennan
Danny Gonzales, linebackers coach and special teams coordinator
Gonzales is a former Arizona State defensive coordinator and New Mexico head coach.
Gonzales, who joined the Sun Devils coaching staff as head coach Herm Edwards’ defensive coordinator in 2018, was named as the team’s assistant head coach after his first year.
He took the New Mexico job following a 7-5 season for Arizona State in 2019 but was fired after last season.
Under Gonzales, Arizona State’s defense was one of the best units at creating turnovers, averaging 2.2 turnovers per game in 2019, tied for second in the country.
He was a safety and punted for the Lobos from 1994-98.
Dino Babers, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach – Report
Babers, 62, went 20-45 as Syracuse’s head coach from 2016-23 before he was fired this past season. He served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona from 1998-2000 and also led wide receivers (1995-96) and running backs (1997).
Babers has strong ties to the state of Arizona with a graduate assistant stint with the Sun Devils in 1985 and coached special teams and defensive backs at Northern Arizona in 1990.
Alonzo Carter, running backs coach
He joined the San Jose State staff in 2017 and added titles of recruiting coordinator the next year and assistant head coach in 2021.
Carter oversaw the development of Kairee Robinson, a 5-foot-7, 190-pound back who over five years developed from reserve back to No. 1 option this past year.
Robinson broke out in 2022, gaining 752 yards and scoring 10 touchdowns before improving in 2023 to 1,194 yards and 18 scores, tied for third-most in college football. Robinson averaged 7.0 yards per rush last year.
Carter has been a head coach himself, leading Contra Cost College from 2010-16. The head coach worked as a high school coach in the Bay Area from 1999-2009.
Josh Oglesby, offensive line coach
Oglesby coached at SJSU under Brennan from 2000-23. Prior to that, he was offensive line coach for the XFL’s Seattle Dragons (2019), tight ends coach for the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders (2019) and a quality control assistant at UTEP (2018) and Oregon State (2015-17).
He played for the Wisconsin Badgers and was a graduate assistant there from 2014-15.
Duane Akina, defensive coordinator
The 67-year-old Akina will return to work under his third head coach with the Wildcats.
Akina served under Dick Tomey for the head coach’s entire run in Tucson from 1987-2000, working as defensive backs coach, associate head coach and even offensive coordinator.
Akina then spent 2001-13 at Texas under Mack Brown, holding similar titles before jumping to Stanford from 2014-22 to coach defensive backs under David Shaw. He returned to the Wildcats last year under Fisch but appeared to be departing after a single season — that was before Fisch jumped to take the head-coaching job with the Washington Huskies.
Akina has coached three Thorpe Award winners, six finalists and 12 All-American defensive backs in his career.
Joe Seumalo, defensive line coach
Seumalo was the DL coach at San Jose State in two stints, in between which he coaches at Oregon State, UNLV and Arizona State. He worked under former ASU head coach Todd Graham in 2016 before returning to SJSU for seven years.
He has more than 20 years of college coaching experience dating back to 1999. He played along the defensive line at Hawaii from 1985-88 and went pro in the in the Canadian Football League.
His son, Isaac, started 17 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2023.
Bobby Wade, wide receivers coach
Wade arrives in Tucson after working at ASU since 2019. He joined the Sun Devils as a graduate assistant before working as an offensive analyst the past two seasons and as wide receivers coach from 2021-22. He also served as Cesar Chavez High School’s wide receivers coach for two and a half years before his ASU tenure.
Wade played for a staff that included Brennan in 2000 when he was a sophomore and Brennan was a graduate assistant under Dick Tomey.
In 33 games over three seasons for the Wildcats, Wade caught 230 passes for 3,351 yards and 23 touchdowns.
He owns the school record for the most single-season receptions with 93 in 2002 and is also the program leader in career receiving yards.
The Phoenix native and former Desert Vista High School standout competed at the varsity level in football, track and field, soccer and basketball while in high school.
Matt Adkins, tight ends coach and pass game coordinator
Adkins was the tight ends coach at San Jose State under Brennan, where he spent seven seasons on the staff. He was a graduate assistant from 2017-19 and worked with All-Mountain West tight end Josh Oliver, who now plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
He was previously Southern Oregon’s passing game coordinator and the head coach of the Carlstad Crusaders of the Swedish Football League, winning coach of the year in 2014.
Adkins comes from a football family, as his dad, Doug, was the head coach at Humboldt State and his grandfather, Tom Perry, led the Central Washington University football program.
Brett Arce, STARS (defensive) coach
Arce was promoted after spending three years on the Arizona coaching staff under Fisch. He was previously a defensive analyst and worked with safeties and nickel backs.
He was a defensive quality control coach with USC from 2018-20.
Chip Viney, cornerbacks coach
Viney was San Jose State’s cornerbacks coach the past two years under Brennan. He previously worked at Oklahoma in recruiting and team defense analyst roles from 2018-21. It was his second stint on the Sooners’ staff, as he was a graduate assistant working with cornerbacks from 2013-15 and a special teams analyst in 2016.
Lyle Moevao, offensive analyst
Moevao was an analyst with San Jose State since 2021 after working as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Northern Colorado.
He was a quarterback at Oregon State from 2006-09 and went 14-4 as a starter.
Cullen Carroll, director of football strength and conditioning
Carroll follows Brennan from San Jose State to Arizona after he spent one season as the Spartans’ head coach of football athletic performance. Carroll was previously the director of football sports performance at Stanford from 2019-22 before he returned to his alma mater.
“The comprehensive development of our student-athletes including the durability and physical performance of our roster has been at an elite level since he joined our program.” Brennan said in a press release. “Carroll’s impact on our program through student-athlete success cannot be understated.”