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Arizona adding Connecticut high school football coach as analyst

kyon-barrs-arizona-wildcats-recruiting-college-football-2019-defensive-tackle-kevin-sumlin Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats had to make two additions to their coaching staff during the winter, and early indications are they hit a home run on the hires of both running backs coach DeMarco Murray and offensive line coach Kyle DeVan.

Only time will tell if their latest new staff member turns out to be just as valuable.

Arizona is bringing on John Marinelli as an offensive analyst, according to his Twitter account. Marinelli had spent the past four years as head coach of Greenwich High School in Connecticut, where he amassed a 36-10 record including 25-1 over the last two seasons as well as a 2018 state title.

“I go from being the head man here to being the low man there, so I have to work my way back up,” Marinelli told Dave Fierro of the New Canaan Advertiser on Thursday. “I am looking forward to learning with great college football minds and seeing how they run a program.”

Marinelli’s hire has not been officially announced by Arizona, so it’s unclear what his specific role will be. Analysts do not count toward a team’s coach limit, and programs like Alabama and others from power conferences have made the most of analyst positions to beef up their staffs.

In some cases such hires are veiled attempts at getting a recruiting edge on a specific player. The 247Sports recruiting database doesn’t list any Greenwich players as notable prospects in the upcoming classes, but Marinelli does have a connection to the top-rated player in the state.

Drew Pyne, a 4-star quarterback who is committed to Notre Dame, plays for Marinelli’s father Lou at New Canaan High School. Arizona offered Pyne a scholarship in January 2018, shortly after Kevin Sumlin was hired as head coach, and Pyne was among many in the Connecticut prep football community to comment on Twitter about Marinelli’s move to Tucson.