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Arizona expected to hire Iona Uiagalelei, Demetrice Martin

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The Wildcats’ new-look coaching staff continues to take shape

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 25 Arizona at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats‘ revamped coaching staff under Kevin Sumlin continues to take shape.

Multiple outlets including the Arizona Daily Star are reporting that Arizona is expected to hire Iona Uiagalelei as its new defensive line coach and Demetrice Martin as its new defensive backs coach.

Uiagalelei has coached at Mt. San Antonio College since 2001. He is currently the defensive coordinator and associate head coach there.

Uiagalelei has worked with a number notable players including Bruce Irvin, Bojay Filimoeatu, and Nu’u Tafisi.

Uiagalelei’s nephew is D.J. Uiagalelei, one of the top quarterback recruits in the 2020 class.

D.J. did this at Arizona Stadium this past summer:

Martin, 44, has been UCLA’s defensive backs coach since 2011. Before that he was Washington’s cornerbacks coach from 2008 to 2011.

Martin is known for being an excellent recruiter, and it says in his UCLA bio that he was responsible for recruiting the Inland Empire, San Gabriel Valley, San Bernardino County, and Houston — all are areas Arizona is looking to lure talent from.

Several UCLA recruits vouched for new head coach Chip Kelly to retain Martin, but he did not.

One hire that is all but official is the addition of Jeremy Springer as UA’s new special teams coordinator.

That hire was reported last week, and Springer has since changed his Twitter bio to say “Special Teams Coordinator University of Arizona” so that seems like a done deal.

Marcel Yates is being retained as UA’s defensive coordinator as well, and some reports have connected Arizona to Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator/recruiting coordinator Cale Gundy, who would be a phenomenal addition.

And when Sumlin was first hired as UA’s head coach, reports immediately said he would be adding Noel Mazzone as offensive coordinator and Clarence McKinney as running backs coach.

Arizona’s new-look coaching staff should be announced in full soon, but it is looking like this could be one of the best the program has ever seen.


Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire