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Arizona hires Jedd Fisch as new head coach

The Wildcats go off the board with their hire to replace Kevin Sumlin

New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, left, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, right speak during training camp at Gillette Stadium on August 23, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Steven Senne-Pool/Getty Images

Arizona has made a hire for their new head football coach, and it’s a bit of a surprise in New England Patriots quarterback coach Jedd Fisch. Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke certainly went a bit outside the box with his criteria for the hire, and that’s what might have led to this decision.

Fisch has some college experience, starting his career as a grad assistant at Florida, and then two years as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Miami Hurricanes. He spent the 2015-16 seasons as passing game coordinator for the Michigan Wolverines, and the 2017 season at UCLA in the OC and QB coach roles, becoming interim coach when Jim Mora Jr. was fired.

But most of Fisch’s experience is in the NFL, where he’s worked for eight different organizations in every role from defensive quality control coach to offensive coordinator. Right now he’s the quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots under Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, but their development of Cam Newton has certainly been a struggle in 2020.

One of the other candidates was Brett Brennan, who just led the previously-downtrodden San Jose State Spartans to an undefeated season and the Mountain West Conference title.

U of A is basically a complete rebuild, and this will be the first head coaching job for Fisch at any level of football. The Wildcats are taking a chance here, but so did their Territorial Cup rivals when they hired Herm Edwards, and that’s worked out well so far. We’ll see what happens here.