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Rich Rodriguez Yet To Hire Defensive Coordinator, Awaiting Decision From Jeff Casteel

The Arizona Wildcats experienced one of the swiftest and most pain-free coaching searches in recent history when they brought Rich Rodriguez to Tucson. While AD Greg Byrne was able to keep the rumors mum during his search for a head coach, they have been all over the place during the search for a defensive coordinator.

Jeff Casteel, the current DC at West Virginia, continues to be the one and only option for RichRod at this time. Many reports have indicated the savvy coordinator already has a deal in place with the UA and is simply hammering out some details, while others have gone on to say it is a done deal. Most believed an official announcement would be made on Friday, but the day passed without any confirmation.

Now, coach Rodriguez has announced that he will finalize his coaching staff by the end of next week, whether it be with Casteel or not, according to a report from Anthony Gimino.

Rodriguez, still waiting on the bulk of his defensive coaches - and with no official word from his old pal, West Virginia defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel - told KOLD-TV's Dave Cooney today there would be no decision on a coordinator until next week. [...]

From Rodriguez's perspective, he has to move, one way or another, soon. The end of next week sounds like a hard deadline. Rodriguez wants to have three big recruiting weekends through January, starting with next Friday, and it will hard to make progress without a full staff.

He told Cooney that "I have really been taking my time because I didn't want to disrupt and talk to anybody extensively until all the bowl games are over, and that last bowl game doesn't finish until Monday."

As Rodriguez mentions in a video interview, next week is a 'dead period' for recruiting, which means a coach can only contact a recruit once a day with a phone call. It would be nice to have the coaching staff in place, but it is not too much of an issue until next weekend, when the UA plans to host as many as 20 players on campus.

Things will start to pick up in the coming days. Buckle up.

For more on the Wildcats, head on over to AZ Desert Swarm.