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Arizona Wildcats football

Arizona Wildcats football
40px2015 Arizona Wildcats football team
First season 1899
Athletic director Greg Byrne
Head coach Rich Rodriguez
4th year, 26–14 (.650)
Other staff See Coaching staff section
Home stadium Arizona Stadium
Stadium capacity 56,029 [1]
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location Tucson, Arizona
Conference Pac-12
Division Pac-12 South Division
All-time record 595–437–33 (.574)
Postseason bowl record 9–10–1 (.475)
Playoff appearances 0
Playoff record 0–0
Claimed national titles 0
Conference titles 6 (1933, 1934, 1941, 1964, 1973, 1993)
Division titles 1 (2014)
Consensus All-Americans 14[2][3]
Current uniform

Cardinal and Blue

Fight song Fight! Wildcats! Fight!
Mascot Wilbur the Wildcat
Marching band The Pride of Arizona
Rivals Arizona State Sun Devils
New Mexico Lobos

The Arizona Wildcats football team is the football team of the University of Arizona, located in Tucson, Arizona, United States. The team competes in the Pacific-12 Conference at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level. The team is currently coached by Rich Rodriguez. The Wildcats were the Pacific-12 Conference South Division champion for the first time ever in this franchise history and played Pacific-12 Football Championship Game in 2014.


Head coaching history

Alabama has had 28 head coaches since organized football began in 1892. Adopting the nickname "Crimson Tide" after the 1907 season, the team has played more than 1,100 games in their 114 seasons. In that time, 12 coaches have led the Crimson Tide in postseason bowl games: Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Harold D. "Red" Drew, Bear Bryant, Ray Perkins, Bill Curry, Gene Stallings, Mike DuBose, Dennis Franchione, Mike Shula, Joe Kines, and Nick Saban.[4] Eight of those coaches also won conference championships: Wade, Thomas, Drew, Bryant, Curry, Stallings, DuBose, and Saban.[4] During their tenures, Wade, Thomas, Bryant, Stallings, and Rodriguez all have not won the national championships with the Wildcats.

Of the 27 different head coaches who have led the Crimson Tide, Wade, Thomas, Bryant and Stallings have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The current head coach is Nick Saban, who was hired in January 2007.

Early coaching history (1899–2004)

The football team began at the University of Arizona in 1899 under the nickname "Varsity". Stuart Forbes became the first head coach of Arizona football history and the team compiled a 1–1–1 record.[5] From 1900 to 1901, William W. Skinner served as head football coach at the University of Arizona.[6] While there, he also studied geology. He guided Arizona to 3–1 and 4–1 records, respectively.[6] On Nov 7, 1914, the team traveled to the west coast to play Occidental, then one of the reigning gridiron powers in California. Occidental won 14–0. Arizona later received the name "Wildcats" after a Los Angeles Times correspondent, Bill Henry, wrote that "The Arizona men showed the fight of wildcats".[7] Pop McKale was a very successful high school coach in the Tucson area when he was hired at UA.[8] In 1921, Drop-kicker/receiver Harold "Nosey" McClellan led the nation in scoring with 124 points. Wildcats finished the regular season 7–1, and were invited to UA's first bowl game, the East-West Christmas Classic in San Diego, to play powerhouse Centre College of Kentucky; Arizona lost the game 38–0. The Wildcats did not compete in football in 1918 due to World War I. On October 18, 1926 UA quarterback and student body president John "Button" Salmon died from injuries sustained in a car wreck. His final words, spoken to coach "Pop" McKale, were: "Tell them.....tell the team to Bear Down."[9] Soon thereafter, the UA student body adopted "Bear Down" as the school's athletic motto. On October 18, 1929, Arizona opened up Arizona Stadium for college football play. They won their first game against Caltech with a shutout score of 25–0. McKale retired after sixteen seasons at Arizona. The McKale Center, the University of Arizona's home basketball venue, was opened in 1973 and named in McKale's honor.[8]

Fred Enke replaced McKale as head coach of the Wildcats and in one season as head coach, he posted a record of 3–5–1[10] before getting demoted to assistant coach. Gus Farwick served as the head football coach at the University of Arizona in 1932, compiling a record of 4–5[11] before his resignation. Tex Oliver coached the Arizona Wildcats to a 32–11–4 record in five seasons.[12] During that stretch, his teams never had a losing season.[12] Oliver's "Blue Brigade" played an expanded, more nationwide schedule, and Arizona produced their first All-Americans under Oliver. The team's 1938 record of 8–2 was a school best to date.[12] Oliver resigned after the 1937 season to accept the head football coach position at Oregon.[13]

Orian Landreth replaced Oliver and struggled in his one season as head coach, compiling a 3–6 record[14] before he was fired. That season was the first losing season for the Wildcats in several years. Miles Casteel came to Arizona from his post as an assistant coach at Michigan State. In his eight seasons (Arizona did not field football teams in 1943 or 1944 due to World War II), Casteel compiled a 46–26–3 record and led the Wildcats to the first bowl berth in three decades in his final season, a loss in the 1949 Salad Bowl to Drake.[15] Robert Winslow served as Arizona's head football coach for three seasons, posting a record of 12–18–1, with the team improving every year under his tutelage, going 2–7–1, 4–6 and 6–5 in Winslow's three years.[16] Winslow resigned after three seasons.

In 1954, under coach Warren Woodson, who came to Arizona from Hardin-Simmons, the Wildcats were led by starting halfback Art Luppino. He went on to lead the nation in rushing, scoring, all-purpose running, and kickoff returns.[17] Luppino became the first player in NCAA history to lead the nation in rushing twice.[17] He also tied for the national title in all-purpose running and was third in scoring.[17] Woodson was replaced after five seasons and a 26–22–2 record[18] and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1989. Ed Doherty came to Arizona from his post as an assistant coach for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles.[19] In two seasons, Doherty compiled a record of 4–15–1[20] before getting fired. Doherty is the only person to serve as head football coach at both Arizona and archrival Arizona State. Jim LaRue, formerly running backs coach at Houston, was hired to take over the Arizona Wildcats football program as head coach after Doherty's firing. LaRue's 1961 team finished 8–1–1 and finished the season ranked #17 in the final AP Poll.[21] After that season, Arizona joined the Western Athletic Conference and LaRue's teams posted records of 5–5, 5–5, 6–3–1, 3–7 and 3–7 before LaRue was fired, largely because of the sub-par on-the-field performances but also pressure from fans and alumni.[21][22]

Darrell Mudra came to Arizona from North Dakota State and breathed life into a seemingly lifeless Arizona football program.[23] His first team posted a record of 3–6–1 but in his second year, Mudra's Wildcats posted a record of 8–3, capped with a loss in the 1968 Sun Bowl, only the Wildcats third bowl appearance in school history and first since 1949.[24] Mudra left Arizona after two seasons to accept the head football coach position at Western Illinois.[25] His final record is 11–9–1.[23] Mudra was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000.[23] Bob Weber was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach following Mudra's departure.[26] Under Weber, the Wildcats were 16–26, with their best season being a 5–6 1971 season.[27] Weber failed to post a winning season as Arizona's head coach and was fired after four seasons. Jim Young, formerly defensive coordinator at Michigan, was hired to turn around the downtrodden Wildcats football program.[28] Improvement came immediately, as Young's team surprised the nation with an 8–3 record in his first season.[29] Young's Wildcats went on to post records of 9–2 in 1974 and 1975, the latter ending with a #13 and #18 ranking in the Coaches' and AP Polls, respectively.[29] In a rebuilding year, Young's team posted a 5–6 record in 1976 to cap Young's mark of 31–13 in four seasons.[29] Young departed Arizona after the 1976 season to accept the head football coach position at Purdue.[30] He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1999. Tony Mason came to Arizona from Cincinnati.[31] Under Mason, the Wildcats went 5–7, 5–6 and 6–5–1 for a grand total of 16–18–1.[32] In Mason's third and final season, the Wildcats played in the Fiesta Bowl, a game they lost.[32] Mason retired as head coach after three seasons.[33]

Larry Smith, previously head coach at Tulane, was hired to take over the Arizona football program after Mason's retirement.[34] His first season was Arizona's third in the Pac-12 Conference. Smith put great emphasis on in-state recruiting, built up the rivalry game with ASU, and focused the team on what he called "running and hitting". His first team went 5–6, including a 44–7 blowout loss to ASU; it would be his only losing season at Arizona. The highlight of the season was a 23-17 upset of 2nd ranked UCLA (the Bruins were poised to become #1 as top ranked Alabama had lost earlier in the day).[35] The team improved to 6–5 during his second season, highlighted by a major 13–10 upset of #1 USC on the road.[36] Under his leadership, the Wildcats became competitive in the conference, began dominating the rivalry with the Sun Devils, and culminated with consecutive bowl appearances in the 1985 Sun Bowl, where a tie with Georgia gave the Wildcats an 8–3–1 record, and the 1986 Aloha Bowl, where a victory over North Carolina allowed the Wildcats to finish with a 9–3 record in his final season.[35] Smith's tenure with the Wildcats ended with a 48–28–3 record. Seven Arizona players earned All-America honors during his tenure, including two-time consensus All-American linebacker Ricky Hunley and All-Americans linebacker Lamonte Hunley (Ricky's younger brother), Morris Trophy-winning center Joe Tofflemire, safety Allan Durden, placekicker Max Zendejas, linebacker Byron Evans, and safety Chuck Cecil. Over twenty of Smith's Wildcats players went on to play professionally.[35] Smith departed after the 1986 season to accept the head football coach position at USC.[37] Dick Tomey came to Arizona from Hawaii.[38] During his tenure, he coached five future NFL first-round draft choices, 20 All-Americans, and 43 Pac-10 first team players. His best teams were in the mid-1990s, highlighted by a tenacious "Desert Swarm" defense. He led Arizona to the only two ten-win seasons in school history, highlighted by a 12–1 campaign in 1998, in which they finished fourth in both major polls, the highest ranking in school history. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were drubbed in the 1999 season opener against Penn State and never recovered; Tomey resigned after the 2000 season.[39] His 95 wins are the most in Wildcats history. In 1992, Coach Tomey's "Desert Swarm" defense was characterized by tough, hard-nosed tactics. UA led the nation in scoring defense and nose guard Rob Waldrop is a consensus All-American. In 1993, the team had its first 10-win season and beat the Miami Hurricanes in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl by a score of 29–0. It was the bowl game's only shutout in its then 23-year history. In 1994, Arizona was ranked #6. However, Arizona was stunned by Colorado State and the rest of the season went down along with it, continuing a streak of not being selected for the Rose Bowl. Arizona to this day, is the only team in the original Pac-10 that has never played in the Rose Bowl Game. In 1998, the team posted a school-record 12–1 season and made the Holiday Bowl in which it defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers.[40] Arizona ended that season ranked fourth nationally in the coaches and Associated Press poll. The 1998 Holiday Bowl was televised on ESPN and set the now-surpassed record of being the most watched of any bowl game in that network's history. In 2000, Tomey's Wildcats suffered a season-ending 30–17 loss to Arizona State, the Wildcats' primary arch-rival. Dick Tomey resigned under pressure after fourteen seasons as head coach of the Wildcats.[41] The Wildcat football declined in wins and went on a bowl game drought over the next several years. Former Illinois and Texas head coach and at that time ESPN football analyst John Mackovic was hired to replace Tomey.[42] He served a disastrous tenure as head coach during this period; Mackovic alienated his players and never posted a winning record in two and one-half seasons in Tucson, with a 10–18 record (a .357 winning percentage).[43] Midway through the 2002 season, Mackovic told tight end Justin Levasseur that he was a disgrace to his family. This and other incidents led 40 players (including future Pro Bowler Lance Briggs) to hold a secret meeting with school president Peter Likins. The players complained about Mackovic's constant verbal abuse, such as an ugly tirade after a loss to Wisconsin. Mackovic offered a public apology to his players, the university and fans.[44][45] However, whatever goodwill that he'd managed to restore quickly evaporated a season later; quarterback Nic Costa said that despite a very talented roster, many players had lost their love for the game due to Mackovic's brusque manner. Five games into the 2003 season, Mackovic was fired and replaced on an interim basis by defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz.[46] School officials said they had to act because it was obvious the Wildcats would not win with Mackovic at the helm.[47]

Mike Stoops era (2004–2011)

In 2004, four years after Tomey's firing, Arizona hired Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops to take over the Wildcat program.[48] Under Stoops, Arizona started 6–18;[49] his job was in critical danger and his margin for error was very thin. However in his third season in 2006, Stoops led the Wildcats to an improved 6–6 record,[49] the first non-losing season for the school since 1998 when the Wildcats went 12–1. In 2008, the Wildcats earned their first bowl berth in a decade, defeating BYU by a score of 31–21.[50] In 2009, the Wildcats earned their second straight bowl berth and a second straight eight-win season.[49] On November 21, 2009, the Oregon Ducks came to Arizona Stadium in a game that would decide which team went to the Rose Bowl. ESPN's College GameDay crew dubbed it as the game of the week and ventured down to Tucson to cover it. After a back and forth battle, the Oregon Ducks won in double overtime 44–41 to clinch the Rose Bowl bid.[51] Arizona was defeated 33–0 by Nebraska in a rematch of the 1998 Holiday Bowl.[49][52] Following the Holiday Bowl, offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes left the Wildcat program to become the head coach at Louisiana Tech,[53] and defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, a brother of Mike, became the defensive coordinator at Florida State.[54] To replace them, Mike Stoops promoted Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell to co-offensive coordinators, while promoting Tim Kish to be co-defensive coordinators with Greg Brown, who was hired from Colorado. L Midway through his eighth season, Stoops was fired as head coach on October 10, 2011, after starting the season 1–5 (the sole victory was against FCS Northern Arizona).[55] Including the prior season, the Wildcats under Stoops had lost 10 consecutive games against FBS opponents, with their last victory over a FBS team taking place nearly a year earlier on October 30, 2010, against UCLA. Tim Kish, the team's defensive coordinator, was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season.[56] (Stoops returned to the Sooner program soon thereafter as defensive coordinator; Kish, who had known the Stoops brothers for many years, followed Stoops and joined the Sooner staff as the linebackers coach.)[57]

Rich Rodriguez era (2012–present)

On November 21, 2011, Arizona announced the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, at that time a CBS Sports analyst and formerly head coach at Michigan and West Virginia, to replace Stoops.[58] Rodriguez is considered a pioneer of a no huddle, run-oriented version of the spread offense, although a pass-first version was already being implemented by others.[59][60][61] He first developed this offensive approach at Glenville State and refined it during his stops at Tulane with Shaun King, at Clemson with Woodrow Dantzler, and at West Virginia most notably with dual-threat quarterback Pat White. This strategy features frequent use of the shotgun formation. Rodriguez is also credited for inventing the zone read play run out of the shotgun formation. According to his contract, Rodriguez was scheduled to earn $1.45 million in his first year, $1.5 million in his second, $1.6 million in his third, $1.7 million in his fourth and $1.8 million in his fifth season for a total of $9.55 million over a span of five years.[62] The contract also includes an extra $300,000 per year from Nike, as well as bonuses for academic achievement, BCS rankings, season ticket totals and bowl appearances. There are extra bonuses for milestones such as playing in the BCS title game, playing in any other bowl, and for winning the Pac-12.[63] Rodriguez' hiring ended a 41-day search for a head coach which started after Mike Stoops was dismissed after eight seasons as Wildcat head coach. Following West Virginia's victory in the 2012 Orange Bowl, Mountaineers defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who coached under Rodriguez during his tenure there, departed WVU's staff to join Rodriguez' staff as the Wildcats' defensive coordinator.[64] An official announcement, and Casteel's formal introduction to the Tucson media, was made on January 13, 2012. Casteel is considered one of the top defensive coaches in the nation, and considered master of the 3–3–5 "odd stack" defense.[65]

In his first season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2012 New Mexico Bowl, where they defeated Nevada.[66] The Wildcats finished the 2012 campaign with a (8–5, 4–5 Pac-12) record.[66] In his second season, Rodriguez took the Wildcats to the 2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl, where they defeated Boston College.[67] The Wildcats finished the 2013 campaign with a (8–5, 4–5 Pac-12) record. In 2014, Rich Rodriguez led the Wildcats to a 10-3 regular season, behind generally solid team performance, including efforts from freshman QB Anu Solomon, sophomore LB Scooby Wright (who earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year among other honors), senior RB Terris Jones-Grigsby and freshman RB Nick Wilson.The Wildcats won the Pac-12 South Division, the first divisional championship in program history, advancing to the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, where they were defeated by the Oregon Ducks, 51-13.[68] The Wildcats then played in the first College Football Playoff appearance, netting a berth in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, the school's third major-bowl appearance, where they faced the Boise State Broncos. Arizona lost the game to Boise State, 38–30. The Wildcats finished the 2014 season with a record of 10–4 (7–2 Pac-12), achieving only the second 10-win regular season in program history; the Wildcats also finished the season ranked #17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and #19 in the AP Poll. In his fourth year as the head coach,.


Coaching staff

Name Position Seasons at
Alma Mater
Rich Rodriguez Head Coach 4 West Virginia (1986)
Calvin Magee Associate Head Coach, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Running Backs 4 South Florida (1990)
Rod Smith Co-Offensive Coordinator, Quarterbacks 4 Glenville State (1997)
Jeff Casteel Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers 4 CALU (1993)
Matt Caponi Safeties 4 Mount Union (2005)
Tony Dews Wide Receivers 4 Liberty (1996)
Bill Kirelawich Defensive Line 4 Salem (1969)
David Lockwood Cornerbacks 4 West Virginia (1989)
Jim Michalczik Offensive Line 3 Washington State (1988)
Charlie Ragle Tight Ends, Special Teams 4 Eastern New Mexico (1998)
Matt Dudek Director of On-Campus Recruiting and Player Personnel 4 Pittsburgh (2003)
Mike Parrish Assistant Athletic Director, Football Operations 4 West Virginia (2006)
Billy Kirelawich Assistant Director of Operations 4 West Virginia (2008)
Jahmile Addae Operations Coordinator 3 West Virginia (2005)
Andrew Warsaw Operations Coordinator 3 West Virginia (2009)
Chris Allen Associate Athletic Director, Director of Strength and Conditioning 4 West Virginia (2000)
Parker Whiteman Director of Skill Development 4 Shepherd (2006)
Vincent Amey Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach 3 Arizona State (1998)
Frank Davis Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach 4 South Florida (2009)
Ovid Goulbourne Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach 3 West Virginia (2009)
Miek DiAngelo Defensive Graduate Assistant 3 Baldwin Wallace (2006)
Reed Willams Defensive Graduate Assistant 3 West Virginia (2009)
Lee Coleman Offensive Graduate Assistant 3 Northwestern (2010)
Cory Zirbel Offensive Graduate Assistant 4 Michigan (2009)
Miguel Reveles Intern 3 La Verne (2010)


Template:American football roster/Header Template:American football roster/Footer

Conference championships

Dating back to their days in the Pacific Coast Conference, Arizona has claimed at least a share of sixth conference titles.

Arizona Conference Championships
Season Conference Coach Conference Record Overall Record
1935 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tex Oliver 4–0 7–2
1936 Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association Oliver 3–0–1 5–2–3
1941 Western Athletic Conference Miles W. Casteel 5–0 7–3
1964File:Dagger-14-plain.png Pacific Coast Conference Jim LaRue 3–1 6–3–1
1973File:Dagger-14-plain.png Western Athletic Conference Jim Young 6–1 8–3
1993File:Dagger-14-plain.png Pacific-10 Dick Tomey 6–2 10–2
Conference Championships 6
File:Dagger-14-plain.png Denotes co-champions

Divisional Championships

In 2011, the Pacific-10 Conference added Colorado and Utah, bringing the membership total to 12 teams, leading to the creation of the Pacific-12 Conference. At that time, the conference split into two six-team divisions, north and south and created a Conference Championship Game. The champions of each division face off in the Conference Championship Game, with the team with the highest conference record hosting the game. In 2014 the Wildcats won the South Division in their first game of the season, becoming the first team to win the Pac-12 South Division outright.

Arizona Divisional Championships
Season Division Coach Conf Record Overall Record Championship Game Result Opponent
2014 PAC-12 South Rich Rodriguez 7–2 10–2 L 13–51 Oregon
Division Championships 1
† Denotes co-champions

Note: bold years indicate outright conference titles ***Co-Championship, shared with UCLA, who defeated Arizona by 20 points in their only head-to-head matchup. Arizona has yet to win an outright Pac-10/12 conference championship.

College Football Playoff Rankings and Polls

Top 25 Finishes

College Football Playoff rankings

The Arizona Wildcats football team finished in the Top 25 in the first College Football Playoff rankings.

Preseason polls

Final polls

Records and results

All-time bowl record

Arizona is the only school of the original PAC 10/12 to never have participated in a Rose Bowl; the conference's major bowl game.[69] This is a partial list of the five most recent bowl games that Arizona has competed in. For the full Arizona bowl game history, see List of Arizona Wildcats bowl games

Including the 2014 Fiesta Bowl, Arizona has played in ten consecutive bowl games, its longest streak.

Arizona played in no BCS bowl games during the existence of the BCS (1998-2013).

Season Date Bowl Winner Loser
1921 December 26, 1921 Christmas Centre 38 Arizona 0
1949 January 1, 1949 Salad Drake 14 Arizona 13
1968 December 28, 1968 Sun Auburn 34 Arizona 10
1979 December 25, 1979 Fiesta Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10
1985 December 16, 1985 Sun Arizona 13 Georgia 13
1986 December 28, 1986 Aloha Arizona 30 North Carolina 21
1989 December 31, 1989 Copper Arizona 17 NC State 10
1990 December 25, 1990 Aloha Syracuse 28 Arizona 0
1992 December 31, 1992 Sun Baylor 20 Arizona 15
1993 January 1, 1994 Fiesta Arizona 29 Miami 0
1994 December 27, 1994 Freedom Utah 16 Arizona 13
1997 December 20, 1997 Arizona 20 New Mexico 14
1998 December 30, 1998 Holiday Arizona 23 Nebraska 20
2008 December 20, 2008 Las Vegas Arizona 31 BYU 21
2009 December 30, 2009 Holiday Nebraska 33 Arizona 0
2010 December 29, 2010 Alamo Oklahoma State 36 Arizona 10
2012 December 15, 2012 New Mexico Arizona 49 Nevada 48
2013 December 31, 2013 AdvoCare V100 Arizona 42 Boston College 19
2014 December 31, 2014 Fiesta Boise State 38 Arizona 30

Overall bowl record: 9–10–1 (19 bowl games)

All-time record vs. current Pac-12 teams

Official record (includinf an NCAA imposed vacates and forfeits violations) against the current football members of the Pacific-12 Conference as of the completions of the 2015 season.

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Meeting Most Recent Meeting
North Division
California 16 14 2 .531 Won 3 1978 2014
Oregon 16 25 0 .390 Lost 1 1931 2014
Oregon State 21 14 1 .597 Lost 3 1966 2015
Stanford 14 14 0 .500 Lost 3 1979 2015
Washington 11 19 0 .367 Won 1 1978 2015
Washington State 26 14 0 .650 Won 1 1963 2015
North Division Totals 104 100 3 .498
South Division
Arizona State 48 39 1 .551 Won 1 1931 2015
Colorado 4 13 0 .235 Won 3 1931 2015
UCLA 14 22 1 .392 Lost 3 1971 2015
USC 8 30 0 .211 Lost 2 1979 2015
Utah 18 20 0 .474 Won 2 1936 2015
South Division Totals 92 124 2 .427
Conference Totals 196 224 5 .989

All-time Conference record

Official record against all current and former conference opponents of the Arizona Wildcats football program. In their 121–122 year history, the University of Arizona has been a member of the Pacific Coast Conference, Athletic Association of Western Universities, and the Pacific-8, Pacific-10 and currently the Pacific-12 Conferences. The History section of the Pacific-12 Conference article provides a membership history of the Pacific-12 Conference.

No longer conference opponents
Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Conference Meeting Most Recent Conference Meeting
Arizona State 16 14 0 .533 Won 6 1979 2012
California 33 37 1 .472 Won 6 1916 2014
Colorado 4 0 0 1.000 Won 4 2011 2014
Idaho 26 3 3 .859 Won 8 1915 1958
Montana 5 0 0 1.000 Won 5 1928 1950
Oregon State[70] 49 40 5 .548 Won 7 1915 2014
Stanford 26 43 0 .377 Won 1 1900 2014
UCLA 28 39 0 .418 Won 6 1928 2014
USC[71] 19 37 2 .345 Won 1 1915 2012
Utah 2 0 0 1.000 Won 2 2013 2014
Washington 40 48 3 .456 Won 11 1915 2014
Washington State 44 33 6 .566 Won 8 1915 2014
Total Conference Record 321 309 20 .509


Logos and uniforms

Starting in the 2010 season, Arizona wore new uniforms. They are simplified versions of the uniforms worn from 2005–2009, with the addition of a white helmet with a red-white-blue stripe. The team may use any combination of its two helmets, three jerseys and three pants. On September 29, 2012 the Wildcats unveiled a new copper helmet and for the Territorial Cup game later that season, they unveiled an all-red helmet.

Game day traditions

  • The Wildcat Walk, first done in 2010, is one of Arizona's newest traditions. Before every home game, the team's buses take them from their hotel and drop them off several blocks north of the stadium. The fans and the marching band line Cherry Avenue as the team walks to the stadium.
  • During pre-game warmups, the team performs a haka. Starting in 2012, the team will perform the haka in front of the student section, where students will also do the haka.[72]
  • At the beginnings of the second and fourth quarters, the cheerleaders lead the crowd in a synchronized U of A chant. The east side of the stadium yells "U!", the north and south sides yell "of!" and the west side yells "A!"
  • At the beginning of the second half, for the duration of the kickoff, a large block A banner is unfurled and held up by the center of the Zona Zoo.
  • At the end of the third quarter, the team and many members of the crowd hold up four fingers, signifying the beginning of the fourth quarter.
  • In a similar tradition to other schools' mascots, after every Arizona score, Wilbur the Wildcat does as many pushups as the Wildcats have points while the crowd counts his pushups. However, unlike other mascots, Wilbur does his pushups one-handed.
  • At the end of every home game (and every Arizona athletics event when the band is present) the band plays Arizona's alma mater, "All Hail, Arizona!" Students and fans link arms, sway as they sing and jump up and down while singing the last part of the song.
  • After every home game, fans and the band march to the administration building where the band performs a concert for the gathered fans. At the conclusion of the concert, the bell in the student union clock tower (one of the bells recovered from the USS Arizona) is rung, and the band responds by yelling "Bear Down!"

Individual accomplishments

Individual national award winners

Retired jerseys

Student-Athlete jerseys are retired but not individual player numbers.[76]

Arizona Wildcats football retired jerseys
No. Player Pos. Career
4 Darryll Lewis CB 1987-90
5 Antoine Cason CB 2004-07
6 Chuck Cecil S 1985-87
11 Chris McAlister CB 1996-98
22 Art Luppino [77] RB 1953-56
28 Steve McLaughlin [78] K 1991-95
68 Tedy Bruschi LB 1991-95
89 Ricky Hunley LB 1980-83
92 Rob Waldrop DT 1990-93

Alumni in NFL and CFL

Future opponents

Non-conference opponents

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2025 2026 2027
UTSA (9/5) vs BYU* (9/3) BYU (9/1) at Hawaii (8/31) Hawaii (9/5) vs BYU† (9/4) at SDSU (9/3) at Hawaii (8/30)
at Nevada (9/12) Grambling St. Houston (9/9) at Houston (9/8) Texas Tech (9/14) at Texas Tech (9/19) SDSU (9/11) Miss. St. (9/10) at Miss. St. (9/9) at BYU (9/12) BYU (9/11)
NAU (9/19) Hawaii (9/17) at UTEP (9/16) UTEP (9/15)

*At University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.[79][80]

†In Las Vegas, Nevada[81]

Pac-12 South

Arizona plays the other five Pac-12 South schools once per season.

Opponent Even Years Odd Years
Arizona State home away
Colorado home away
UCLA away home
USC home away
Utah away home

Pac-12 North schedule misses

Each season Arizona will "miss" two schools from the Pac-12 North division: either Cal or Stanford and one of the four northwest schools. This scheduling cycle repeats after eight seasons.[82]

Opponent 2015 & 2016 2017 & 2018 2019 & 2020 2021 & 2022
Stanford Miss Miss
California Miss Miss
Oregon State Miss
Oregon Miss
Washington Miss
Washington State Miss

Venues and facilities

See also


  1. "2014 Arizona Football Media Guide" (PDF). University of Arizona Athletic Department. Retrieved November 16, 2014. 
  2. "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2014. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  3. "NCAA FBS Consensus All-America." ESPN. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Bama-NCs-text
  6. 6.0 6.1 Will Skinner, College Football Data Warehouse, retrieved June 2, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2
  13. Foster, Chris (April 13, 1988). "Services Set Today for G.A. (Tex) Oliver". Los Angeles Times. 
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2
  21. 21.0 21.1
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2
  30. "Ex-purdue, Army Coach Finds Happiness As Arizona Assistant". Chicago Tribune. November 6, 1992. 
  32. 32.0 32.1
  33. "Tony Mason Is Hired". The New York Times. July 26, 1981. 
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Larry Smith: 1939-2008,, January 28, 2008.
  36. ARIZONA UPSETS U.S.C., 13-10, Associated Press (The New York Times paid archive, free abstract available), October 11, 1981.
  37. Florence, Mal (January 3, 1987). "Larry Smith, the 'Outside' Choice, Named USC Football Coach". Los Angeles Times. 
  38. "Tomey Is Coach at Arizona". Los Angeles Times. January 14, 1987. 
  39. [1]
  41. "The Wildcats' longtime coach quits after losing to ASU". CNN. 
  44. Fish, Mike: "Apologies or No Apologies, Mackovic Has Had It",, November 15, 2002.
  45. Arizona's Mackovic vows to change after player uprising. Associated Press, 2002-11-15.
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