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Report: Arizona fires defensive coordinator Marcel Yates, tabs Chuck Cecil as interim

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Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Following one of the worst defensive performance of the season, Arizona Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin apparently has had enough.

Sumlin has fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing, according to Michael Lev of the Arizona Daily Star.

Former Arizona standout Chuck Cecil, who had been serving as an analyst, will take over as defensive coordinator.

Yates was in his fourth season as Arizona's DC, and none had gone particularly well. This year the Wildcats were allowing 35 points and more than 469 yards per game, including 472 yards to Stanford on Saturday in a 41-31 road loss.

That performance came after ones against Washington and USC in which the defense fared well early but wore down in the second half, getting outscored 62-27 in the second half in those games.

Rushing was in his second year with the Wildcats, first working with the linebackers. In 2018 he was in charge of Arizona's safeties, a position group Yates was responsible for this season.

Cecil, a 1987 consensus All-American at Arizona, had been on staff as an analyst since 2017. Another analyst, former UA linebacker Hank Hobson, is also being elevated within the coaching staff according to Lev.

Arizona (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) has lost three straight games and its chances of making a bowl game are looking slim.