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Arizona hires 40-year veteran Stan Eggen as defensive line coach

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Texas v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

After previously hiring a defensive line coach with zero FBS experience and it not paying off, the Arizona Wildcats this time hired someone with four decades of it.

The UA announced the addition of 40-year veteran Stan Eggen to the coaching staff on Monday. Eggen has been in the Division I assistant coaching ranks every year since 1979, including stints at Power 5 schools like Alabama, Iowa State, and Texas A&M.

He was most recently serving as the defensive line coach at New Mexico, where he has been on staff since 2016. Eggen replaces former defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei, who was fired midseason. Uiagalelei joined the Wildcats in 2018, his first time coaching at the FBS level.

“We are excited Stan Eggen has joined the Arizona football family as defensive line coach,” Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statement. “Stan’s personal and professional values, fundamental approach to teaching the game, as well as his track record for development and recruiting make him a great fit for our defense, and our entire program.”

Eggen has ties to the current UA staff. He was Iowa State’s defensive line coach for two seasons (2014-15) when new UA defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads was the head coach there. Eggen’s stint at Texas A&M (2003-07) preceded Sumlin’s.

Per the UA release, Eggen “has a strong reputation in recruiting, being named one of the top 20 recruiters in the country multiple times by Rivals.com and was named as one of the top 10 recruiters in the country by Scout.com. He has also coached in 12 bowl games, including the 1997 Insight.com Bowl in Tucson against Arizona.”

Eggen has a lot of work ahead of him, as he takes over one of the least productive units in the Pac-12. The Wildcats ranked dead last in the conference in sacks this season, mustering only 17 all year.

Eggen’s New Mexico team finished eighth in the Mountain West in sacks, logging 22 in 12 games. He has helped produce more than a dozen NFL draft picks in his coaching career, including Von Miller, Michael Bennett, Red Bryant, IK Enemkpali and Johnny Jolly.

Arizona still has one more assistant coaching vacancy to fill. Rhoads said at his introductory conference in December that he will likely be coaching linebackers, meaning the Wildcats will likely be adding a safeties coach to round out the staff.

Eggen’s coaching history

  • University of Arizona Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2020-current)
  • University of New Mexico Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2016-19)
  • Iowa State Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2014-15)
  • Louisiana Tech Assistant Coach – Defensive Line/Recruiting Coordinator (2009-13)
  • Louisiana Tech Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2008)
  • Texas A&M Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2003-07)
  • University Alabama Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (2001-02)
  • TCU Assistant Coach – Defensive Line (1998-2000)
  • University of New Mexico – Defensive Line (1997)
  • UNLV Defensive Coordinator/Inside LBs (1994-96)
  • University of Nevada Assistant Coach – Inside Linebackers (1993)
  • UNLV Assistant Coach – Defensive Ends/Linebackers (1991-92)
  • Utah State Assistant Coach – Recruiting Coordinator/Inside LBs (1986-90)
  • Drake Assistant Coach – Outside Linebackers (1984-85)
  • University of Memphis Assistant Coach – Inside Linebackers (1982-83)
  • Southeast Missouri State Assistant Coach – Linebackers (1981)
  • University of North Dakota Assistant Coach – Defensive Backs (1979-80)