A deal appears to be in place, though nothing is official...yet.
The Arizona Wildcats have found their next head coach. According to multiple reports, Rich Rodriguez will be announced as the next head coach of UA football within the next 48 hours. Nothing has been made official by the UA athletic department, but an announcement could be made as early as this evening from Tucson.
Bruce Feldman, who might have the most credibility of any national football writer, just tweeted the news:
Expect Rich Rodriguez to be named the next Arizona head coach in the next 48 hours according to sources.
This is huge news for the University of Arizona. Mike Bellotti, the former head coach of Oregon, was the hot name over the weekend among reporters and boosters, but Athletic Director Greg Byrne was using it all as a smokescreen to land Rodriguez, who had been coveted by multiple programs across the country.
Rodriguez hit the big times with the West Virginia University and revolutionized the way dual-threat quarterbacks operate the spread offense. He left WVU in 2007 for the University of Michigan, where he spent three seasons before being relieved of duties. Should the hiring become official, expect many of his former assistants from Michigan and West Virginia to join him in Tucson.
Rodriguez would certainly bring a big name to Tucson, but there could be some concerns. He has never coached nor recruited on the west coast, and while he isn't at the level of Mike Stoops, he has been known to get belligerent on the sidelines at times.
More to come shortly. The athletic department has not announced anything officially, but it sounds like a deal is in place.
Welcome to Tucson and the University of Arizona, Rich Rodriguez.