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DeMarco Murray leaves Arizona to coach running backs at Oklahoma

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arizona-wildcats-demarco-murray-oklahoma-sooners-running-backs-coach-2020-pac-12-big12 Photo by Ryan Kelapire

The Arizona Wildcats hired three assistant coaches this offseason, but now needs to add a fourth new coach.

The Oklahoma Sooners announced Monday they have hired DeMarco Murray as running backs coach, luring him away from Arizona after one season.

The news first broke Sunday night that Murray was set to leave for Oklahoma, his alma mater. He played for the Sooners from 2007-10, rushing for 3,685 yards and 50 touchdowns, then was taken in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Murray was hired by Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin in December 2018 for his first coaching job after playing in the NFL from 2011-17 and then spending the 2018 season as a college football TV analyst. During the 2019 season he oversaw a UA backfield that averaged 174 rushing yards per game, which was third-best in the Pac-12 but down 14 percent from the previous season when the Wildcats led the Pac-12 in rushing for the third year in a row.

His departure marks the fourth assistant coach opening on Arizona’s staff since midway through the 2019 season. Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing were fired by Sumlin in late October, with defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei let go in November.

The Wildcats have since hired Paul Rhoads as defensive coordinator, Stan Eggen as defensive line coach and Andy Buh as outside linebackers coach.