With Arizona football firing Kevin Sumlin, the next Wildcats head coach could be on this list.
It’s one thing to lose to chief rival Arizona State, as the Arizona Wildcats have now done four straight times. But Friday night’s 70-7 loss to the Sun Devils at home was a new low, and the Wildcats are now 0-5 in Kevin Sumlin’s third season as head coach. It will be his last as Bruce Feldman reported Sumlin has been fired and later confirmed by the school.
Arizona’s losing streak is now 12 games, going back to last year’s game against Colorado on Oct. 5, 2019. Last year’s 4-1 start became a 4-8 finish, and now Sumlin is 9-20 as the coach in Tucson. While rival Arizona State seems to be on a good track under Herm Edwards, Arizona has fallen from the on-field standards of the Rich Rodriguez era.
Any talk of firing a college football coach has to included buyout conversation, especially in the current environment affected by COVID-19. According to Football Scoop, Sumlin is owed more than $7 million as part of his buyout.
With a wide base to recruit from including California and west Texas, Arizona football could be an appealing destination for this top group of prospective candidates.
Arizona football should pursue these coaches after firing Kevin Sumlin
5. Rick Neuheisel, CBS Analyst, former Washington, Colorado, UCLA coach
Football Scoop tabbed Neuheisel as a name to watch for the Arizona job, citing sources that say he’d like to make one more run with a major college program. He is an Arizona native, and he was most recently head coach of the Arizona Hotshots in the short-lived Alliance of American Football.
Neuheisel spent time coaching in the Pac-10/Pac-12, with eight combined seasons at Washington (33-16 from 1999-2002) and UCLA (21-29 from 2008-2011). Counting his tenure at Colorado (1995-1998), Neuheisel has an 87-59 record as a head coach. Despite being out of coaching essentially for nine years and approaching 60-years-old, Neuheisel has stayed close to the game as an analyst and his personality suggests he’s hardly old-school.