For weeks now, the Arizona Wildcats have been without a defensive line coach. But that has changed, as Rich Rodriguez announced that he will promote football analyst Vince Amey to the position.
This is the final piece of a complete overall the defensive staff has undergone this year. The first hire was another analyst promoted from within, as Jahmile Addae was added to the staff, and will now coach the safeties. Then Donte Williams was hired away from San Jose State to coach the corners, and Marcel Yates was brought in to be the new defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, leaving behind his alma mater Boise State.
This announcement took a while to make because of the timing of National Signing Day, as well as the Arizona staff pushing hard to bring in Joe Salave'a, former Arizona player and current Washington State defensive line/associate head coach, from what I'm told. Salave'a just received an extension from WSU, making it more difficult for Arizona to bring him in.
Amey has been on Arizona's staff for the past four years. Last year was his only one as an analyst, having served three seasons on the strength and conditioning staff prior to 2015.
Before that, he was the defensive line coach at, of all places, Chaparral High School under current Arizona special teams coach Charlie Ragle in 2011. Chaparral won the Arizona state title that year with several guys that are currently on the Wildcats' roster.
Arizona's new defensive line coach played college ball up north at ASU from 1994-97, earning Pac-10 honorable mention in the Sun Devils' 1997 conference championship year. Amey also started at defensive tackle in the 1997 Rose Bowl.
After that, he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 7th round of the 1998 NFL Draft. He would go on to play in NFL Europe and the Arena Football League, winning the 1999 NFL Europe Championship with the Frankfurt Galaxy, and then spending many years with the Arizona Rattlers.
Amey, who turned 41 on Tuesday, brings a wealth of experience to the table, and has already been involved in recruiting, which makes him a nice hire. Arizona is set to start spring practice Friday afternoon, giving the new defensive staff its first official time with the players on the field.