Arizona Football announced Kevin Sumlin is fired as head coach, meaning it is now searching for the next Arizona head coach. So who are the top candidates to replace Kevin Sumlin as the Wildcats head coach? We’ve got the top Arizona football head coach candidates and some realistic options.
There are some former Pac-12 head coaches Arizona could hire, like Jim Mora, Steve Sarkisian and Rick Neuheisel. And hey, maybe Gus Malzahn could head to Arizona after getting fired by Auburn. But just how good is the Arizona job after a disastrous tenure for Sumlin?
Proven coaches should be high on Arizona head coach candidate list and there are several who make sense. They are at smaller schools, but Brent Brennan, Billy Napier, Ken Niumatalolo, Bryan Harsin and even Jay Norvell have had success.
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The Arizona Wildcats could also pursue someone with heavy ties to the program. A pair of Pac-12 Co-DCs played at Arizona in Joe Salave'a (Oregon) and Antonio Pierce (Arizona). Could they make the jump to Arizona?
Arizona Football could go with a coordinator hire, and one in particular makes sense: Alabama OC Steve Sarkisian. Keep an eye out for USC OC Graham Harrell here too.
Sumlin’s firing won’t be cheap: It will cost about $7.5 million, plus money owed to assistant coaches who will be fired once the next head coach is hired. In the end, a 70-7 loss to rival Arizona State meant Sumlin HAD to go.
Here’s the full Top 10 Candidates List:
#10 Rick Neuheisel (Former UCLA HC)
#9 Billy Napier (HC, Louisiana)
#8 Antonio Pierce (CO-DC, ASU)
#7 Jay Norvell (HC, Nevada)
#6 Bryan Harsin (HC, Boise)
#5 Graham Harrell (OC, USC)
#4 Joe Salave'a (Co-DC, Oregon)
#3 Steve Sarkisian (OC, Alabama)
#2 Ken Niumatalolo (HC, Navy)
#1 Brent Brennan (HC, San Jose St)
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