It was previously reported that Arizona legend Dick Tomey had recommended Salave'a to coach Stoops, praising his great work ethic, and ability to develop raw defensive tackles into hard working, top level performers. Coach Tomey's recommendation may have been what pushed Salave'a over the top, but he brings a lot to the table besides that.
The years spent as a player at the University of Arizona, his eleven years in the NFL as a defensive tackle, and his experience coaching DT's under coach Tomey at San Jose State should lend him more than enough know-how and credibility to help turn Arizona's DT's into a fearsome group in coming years.
Perhaps most importantly, coach Salave'a brings strong recruiting ties to the American Samoa and Hawaiian Islands areas. This was feared to be the greatest loss, when former Arizona DT coach Mike Tuisosopo left for Colorado. I think I speak for many Wildcat fans when I say that I sighed with relief, knowing that recruiting pipeline will be protected.
Coach Salave'a will hit the ground running this Monday, and will start coaching the DT's immediately. Thank goodness. Believe it or not, it was looking like a graduate assistant was going to be coaching the DT's in the bowl game.
Welcome home, coach Salave'a! Get those DT's ready for the Alamo Bowl!