What a brutal week for Arizona Wildcat fans. First, two coaches leave Tucson to join soon-to-be division rival, Colorado. Now, word is out that veteran C Colin Baxter will miss the Alamo Bowl after undergoing surgery on his injured knee. But wait, it gets better. Frank Scelfo, the QB guru that improved Nick Foles' footwork and completion percentage, and in one season seems to have turned Matt Scott into a true dual threat QB, may be next to go. Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that he is a candidate for not only QB coaching positions, but head coaching positions. Hopefully, coach Stoops can convince him to stay, but I don't know how anyone could turn down a head coaching position to remain a QB coach. As fruitless as it may be, I'll be praying that coach Scelfo stays in Tucson.
In the case of C Colin Baxter, it's about time. I respect him to no end, but he's been playing hurt since the UCLA game. It was only a matter of time before his body got the better of his incredible selflessness. Easily the toughest player on the team, he gets major points for heart and the ability to gut through pain. I can't imagine what it took, week in and week out, to get himself up for playing on a torn meniscus. He deserves some sort of remembrance after he leaves. Maybe not the ring of honor, as that is reserved for award winners and hall of famers, but something. I'm looking at you, A.D. Byrne.
On the coaches that left, I'm not so happy. After a few days to cool off, I agree that coaching raids are a part of NCAA football. I even agree with coach Stoops that it is a complement. I'm not mad that Colorado is doing this. (Although, I will be rooting extra hard for an Arizona victory over Colorado next season.) I'm even ok with the fact that coach Mike Tuiasosopo and coach Greg Brown wanted to move on to Colorado. Best of luck to you.
What I am angry about, is the fact that neither coach Tuiasosopo, nor coach Brown will be coaching the Wildcats leading up to and including the Alamo Bowl.
Less than a month to go until the bowl game, and you abandon your players? How dare you. Colorado isn't in a bowl game, so what's the rush? You could recruit for your new team by phone, and after the Bowl game concludes. Instead, you leave your team in a horrible situation, with little time to adjust before the biggest game of the year, and the last game of several of your players' college career.
All the words of how you cherish your time at Arizona, and how you appreciate the opportunity, ring hollow as you walk away from the players who looked to you for guidance, when they need you the most. Thank you for all that you guys did for Arizona. But the manner in which you are leaving is classless, pure and simple.
I have faith that coach Mike Stoops will go out and get some top level coaches to replace any that leave, and that better days lie ahead for Arizona. Already, he has taken the bull by the horns, and is stepping in to help coach the defense. And hey, we could do worse than having a national championship winning defensive coordinator being more involved with the practices.
Bear Down, Wildcat fans. Beat Oklahoma St.!