Arizona is expected to hire New England Patriots quarterback coach Jedd Fisch to replace Kevin Sumlin as the program’s next football coach, according to ESPN’s Field Yates and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. Fisch, 44, boasts a long resume of NFL and collegiate experience that includes a recent stint in the Pac-12 as UCLA’s offensive coordinator in 2017.
Fisch then spent 2018 and 2019 with the Rams before joining the Patriots this season. Sumlin was fired earlier this month after compiling a 9-20 record in three seasons at Arizona. The Wildcats were 0-5 this season. San Jose State coach Brent Brennan and Arizona State co-defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce were among the other names connected to the opening.
A New Jersey native and University of Florida graduate, Fisch is unique in that he did not play football in high school or college. But he landed a spot as a graduate assistant on Steve Spurrier’s staff at Florida by leaving notes on the windshield of the coach’s car, according to a recent profile of Fisch in the Boston Herald. In the 20 years since his stint on Spurrier’s staff, Fisch has held numerous jobs in the college and professional ranks.
His other college experience includes a 2009 stint as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator and two years at Michigan as Jim Harbaugh’s passing game coordinator in 2015 and 2016. Fisch’s stop at UCLA in 2017 on Jim Mora’s staff also included leading the Bruins to a 1-1 record during two games as interim head coach.
He will face an uphill climb at Arizona, which has only finished a season ranked in the AP Top 25 poll just once since 1998. Arizona nearly upset USC to begin the 2020 season before the Trojans pulled off a 34-30 victory with some late-game heroics. The Wildcats then lost their final four games by double-digits, culminating with an embarrassing 70-7 loss to Arizona State on Dec. 11. Sumlin was fired the following day, and starting quarterback Grant Gunnell has since entered the transfer portal.
#Arizona #hire #England #Patriots #coach #Jedd #Fisch #coach #reports