New Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch has made a couple of small steps in his big rebuild of the Arizona football program. On Thursday, it was announced that the program was hiring Don Brown to serve as the Wildcats defensive coordinator.
Brown comes over from the University of Michigan after four seasons in Ann Arbor, where he was a two-time finalist for the Broyles Award, which goes out to the nation’s top assistant. Nicknamed “Dr. Blitz”, the new DC will look to mend the wounds of a Wildcat defense that allowed 39.8 points per games last season.
Brown’s previous stops before Michigan included tours at Boston College, Northeastern, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.
“I am honored to be a part of Coach Fisch’s staff at the University of Arizona,” Brown said in a statement. “I promise to work tirelessly to make our defense into something that our players, alumni and fans can be proud of. My focus will also be to develop our student-athletes so they can play at an elite level and achieve success, which requires dedication, a tremendous work ethic and building great relationships. I can’t wait to get to Tucson and be a part of the program Coach Fisch is building.”
Dr. Blitz is coming to 🌵🌞 Tucson! Architect of college 🏈’s top defenses, Coach Brown is PROFICIENT, RELENTLESS and a true ORIGINAL. It’s a great day to be a Wildcat!https://t.co/dgEEhHKFya#ItsPersonal | #BearDown pic.twitter.com/NyR4WgpN2N
— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) January 7, 2021
Fisch has also built up the rest of his staff, with the following coaches taking over for these position groups:
-Brennan Carroll (Offensive Coordinator/Offensive line)
-Jimmie Dougherty (Quarterback coach)
-Scottie Graham (Running backs coach)
-Kevin Cummings (Wide receivers coach)
-Jordan Paopao (Tight Ends coach)
– Ricky Hunley (Defensive line coach)
-DeWayne Walker (Cornerbacks coach)
-Chuck Cecil (Safeties coach)
Transfer Portal Players Returning
After entering the transfer portal, Fisch has been able to bring back a few of Arizona’s top wideouts. Wide receivers Jamarye Joiner, Boobie Curry, and Ma’jon Wright all announced that they will be returning to Tucson, withdrawing their names from the portal.
Joiner hauled in 34 receptions for 552 yards and five touchdowns in 2019, leading all Wildcat receivers. Curry has 16 receptions for 157 yards over two seasons, and Wright was second on the team in receiving with 15 receptions as a freshman during the 2020 season.
After Talking With Coach Fisch & Coach Cummings This Morning Along with Prayer. I Feel It’s Only Right To Put On For My City And BEAR TF DOWN.🔴🔵 #Turnup10 @CoachJeddFisch @Coach_KC84 @CoachJimmieD pic.twitter.com/MKkUXX4wRf
— 𝟙𝟘 ™ (@Jamaryejoiner) January 7, 2021
#18 back bear down 🐻⬇️
— Ma’jon Wright (@WrightMajon) January 7, 2021
In addition to the returning receivers, Fisch has also got players coming home, as Sports360AZ’s Eric Sorenson noted in this week’s Zone Read column.
Former Chandler Wolves Gunner Maldonado and Drake Anderson announced their transfers from Northwestern to Arizona this week, along with former Higley standout Jason Harris, who is coming to Tucson from the University of Colorado.
Harris’ brother, Jalen, is already on the roster, and both of his parents went to school at Arizona and are former Wildcat student-athletes as well.