If it were up to the players, Marcel Yates would be the next head football coach of the Arizona Wildcats.
Several players, including star quarterback Khalil Tate, have vouched for the UA defensive coordinator to replace Rich Rodriguez who was fired Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations.
Here are some examples:
We need to hire Coach Yates as our head coach period, he's the best man for the JOB !!! Beardown— Khalil Tate (@KhalilDTN) January 3, 2018
@CoachYatesAZ for head coach @Dave_Heeke make that move rn— sheldon (@_scottieoo) January 3, 2018
Another big fact https://t.co/LDSgrxPdCg— Demetrius Flannigan™ (@Dflann12) January 3, 2018
Marcel Yates=Head Coach!!!! @Dave_Heeke— Tony Fields II (@T_Fields1) January 3, 2018
Marcel Yates 4 Head Coach!!!! @Dave_Heeke— T.W (@Twaaall1) January 3, 2018
WE WANT YATES— PJ Johnson (@BONPJ99) January 3, 2018
Yates for Head Coach @Dave_Heeke https://t.co/E6WEhvzCCH— Meaty (@KYLANWILBORN) January 3, 2018
Yates for head coach @Dave_Heeke— Winky (@LeeAnd15) January 3, 2018
Arizona has already been connected to higher-profile coaches like ex-Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and ex-LSU coach Les Miles, and it is unclear if Yates will actually be considered for the position.
Generally, hiring a head coach just to appease players is not good business. Arizona would be best suited to go through a thorough interview process with a variety of candidates to find the best match.
If that leads it to hire Yates, fine, but taking a shortcut in the process seems unwise when the fate of the program is at stake.
That said, keeping Yates around as defensive coordinator does seem like a good idea.
Not just because Arizona’s players clearly like him, but also because he has done a solid job since he arrived in Tucson prior to the 2016 season, and he can continue developing UA’s young, but promising, defense.
Plus, keeping Yates would likely prevent Arizona from losing some of its 2018 signees, who could request to be released from their National Letters of Intent because of the coaching change.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire