The Arizona Wildcats need a new head coach and Brent Brennan, the leader of one of the best turnarounds in college football, could be coaching in Tucson on Dec. 31.
If Brennan’s San Jose State team beats Boise State in the Mountain West championship game on Saturday in Las Vegas, the Spartans will be rewarded with a trip to Arizona Stadium for the Arizona Bowl.
It’s official! The @MountainWest Champion will be playing for a title in Tucson at the 2020 Arizona Bowl. @BroncoSportsFB and @SanJoseStateFB will battle for the bowl on Saturday in Vegas. We will see you on @CBSSports on NYE. pic.twitter.com/v5FJW1lpo7— Arizona Bowl (@theARIZONABOWL) December 14, 2020
Naturally, a reporter asked Brennan about the Arizona job in a video call on Monday. Brennan said his focus is on Boise State.
“We’re climbing the mountain and that’s all I’m worried about right now,” he said (via the Mercury News). “That’s it. This team, moving forward, playing in the biggest game in the history of our school.”
The upside of accepting the Arizona job, should the Wildcats offer, is pretty obvious. Among other things, Brennan would receive a huge salary increase, be able to coach in a Power 5 conference, and follow in the footsteps of one of his idols, Dick Tomey.
Brennan also has plenty of connections in the West and has lived in Tucson before, serving as a graduate assistant under Tomey in 2000. His brother, Brad, even played wide receiver at the UA.
Would that be enough to convince him to leave San Jose State? Maybe not.
Brennan was born and raised in nearby Redwood City and, per the Mercury News, has said he wants to coach the Spartans for another 15 years.
Coaches say things like that all the time before changing jobs, but Brennan sounds serious.
“I grew up here,” he said (via the Mercury News). “My dad played here. I went to these games as a young man. As a kid, rolling down the hill before the stands were in the north end. That’s been my whole life. When I said that, that came from the heart. I love this place. I love what we’re doing. I believe we can build a winning football program at San Jose State and I think we’re into our process of demonstrating that.”
Indeed. Brennan transformed San Jose State from a 2-11 team in 2017 to a 6-0 team in 2020. That despite only having one home game due to strict COVID-19 restrictions in San Jose.
Saturday will mark the first time the Spartans have ever appeared in the Mountain West title game.