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Arizona to hire Patriots assistant Jedd Fisch as head coach

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Cactus Bowl - Kansas State v UCLA Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats have found their man, and it’s probably not someone UA fans were expecting.

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Arizona is hiring New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch as its next head coach, replacing Kevin Sumlin, who was fired on Dec. 12 after going 9-20 over his three seasons.

Fisch, 44, has more than 20 years of experience as an assistant coach at the college and professional level. This was his first season with the Patriots, having spent 2018-19 with the Los Angeles Rams as an analyst and assistant offensive coordinator.

From 2015-17 Fisch was in the college ranks, serving as Michigan’s QB and wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for two years before going to UCLA in 2018. With the Bruins he was QB coach and offensive coordinator, serving as interim head coach for the final two games following Jim Mora’s firing.

UCLA went 1-1 under Fisch, beating Cal in the regular-season finale before losing to Kansas State in the 2017 Cactus Bowl.

Dating back to 1999, when he was a graduate assistant at his alma mater Florida under Steve Spurrier, Fisch has worked for five college programs and seven NFL teams in 22 years.

Fisch, who has a close personal relationship with UA president Dr. Robert Robbins, will be inheriting a UA program that is at an all-time low, having lost 12 consecutive games with the most recent a 70-7 home loss to rival ASU. Since then five starters have announced their transfer, including sophomore quarterback Grant Gunnell and receivers Stanley Berryhill III and Jamarye Joiner.