ESPN analyst says Arizona would suit Petersen
There was some surprise when Arizona football coach Mike Stoops was fired, but the timing may have been the biggest shock of all.
ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame football coach Bob Davie thinks that the timing was fair and honest.
“If you are going to make the change after the season, it may be more unfair to let the guy dangle the rest of the season,” Davie told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf. “If you know it’s over, the president knows it’s over, the A.D. knows, then maybe it’s fair to tell him it’s time to go.”
Stoops was fired after the Wildcats started out the season 1-5, and the 37-27 loss to Oregon State last week may have been the final straw.
“I think they just ran out of gas,” said Davie. “Starting last year they have lost ten straight FBS games now.”
The last place Wildcats are giving up a whopping 37.5 per game right now even though defense was the specialty of coach Stoops.
“The surprising thing in the end was, Mike is a good defensive coach, but they have really, really struggled lately,” Davie said.
With Stoops out, defensive coordinator Tim Kish has been named the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Many have speculated that Boise State Head Coach Chris Petersen is the number one target to replace Stoops full-time for Arizona. Petersen is in the middle of leading his fifth ranked Broncos through this season but Davie doesn’t think it would be too far out to consider Petersen as a replacement.
“I don’t think a Florida, Alabama or Penn State really suits him, I think Arizona kind of suits him,” said Davie. “It’s just a little bit under the radar which I think he likes, so I think there is a shot there.”
Not to mention the relationship between Petersen and Byrne, said Davie.
“But the guys aren’t going to make a decision until the dust settles, particularly the ones with a job,” Davie said.
If the Wildcats can bring in a successful coach, people will look back at the decision to let go of Stoops in the middle of the season as a wise move by Byrne and perhaps the beginning of a trend for other struggling college programs.