Rich Rodriguez has seemingly made major upgrades to the Arizona Wildcats defensive coaching staff this offseason, and he added to it by hiring Boise State Broncos defensive coordinator Marcel Yates to the same position.
Yates gets 2 year contract at Arizona for 530k per year about a 200k per year raise.— Jeff Caves (@JeffCaves) January 18, 2016
As we wrote on Friday, Yates had tremendous success in his two years as Boise State's defensive coordinator, especially when it comes to stopping teams on third down and in the red zone.
The thing that I find most interesting about this hire is that Yates has exclusively coached secondary and defensive backs in his career. Arizona already has Jahmile Addae coaching cornerbacks, and hired Donte Williams on Sunday, who was the secondary coach at San Jose State last year. Williams' role at Arizona has not been clearly defined yet though.
Here's the current plan for divvying up Arizona defensive coaching duties: Yates = linebackers, Williams = corners, Addae = safeties— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) January 18, 2016
Yates also spent two years as Texas A&M's co-defensive coordinator, so he does have recruiting ties in Texas that Arizona has not had in the recent past. This move along with the Williams hire also greatly strengthens the 'Cats ability to recruit in the Los Angeles area.
"When you're a coach and you recruit a kid, I don't care about how many stars they are or how great they are when they're coming in," Yates said at a press conference prior to the 2014 Fiesta Bowl. "It's about who can learn your system and who can play that system you want to play."
In addition to his experience the past four years, Yates played defensive back at Boise from 1996-99, coached the cornerbacks from 2003-05, and coached the entire Bronco secondary 2006-11. Leaving behind his alma mater has to be tough.
"This is my second home. ... It was real easy for me when I got the call from coach Harsin," Yates told the Idaho Statesman in January 2014. "For me, it's all about my family. Having my wife from here ... she already had our bags packed."
There's still at least one more move to make for Rich Rodriguez on the defensive staff. As the recruiting season is in full-swing, and Arizona has the potential to flip a number of recruits before National Signing Day with all these coaching staff changes, you would think the final coaching position will be filled in the coming days.
Boise also has plenty of defensive players committed that could certainly play at Arizona. It'll be interesting to see the fallout there as well.
It's certainly an exciting time in Tucson right now.