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Former Arizona coach Mike Stoops named defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic

mike-stoops-arizona-wildcats-fau-owls-defensive-coordinator-rich-rodriguez-louisiana-monroe-2021 Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While new Arizona Wildcats coach Jedd Fisch is hard at work putting his first team together, two of his predecessors have landed assistant gigs at smaller schools.

The latest ex-UA coach to pick up a new job is Mike Stoops, who on Thursday was named defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic. He’ll work under Willie Taggart, the former Oregon coach who led the Owls to a 5-4 record in 2020.

Stoops, 59, had been an analyst the past two seasons at Alabama. Prior to that he was assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Oklahoma from 2012-18, the same role he had from 1999-2003 before Arizona hired him to be head coach.

From 2004-11 Stoops went 41-50 at Arizona, topping out at eight wins apiece in 2008-09 while going to three bowl games. He was fired midway through the 2011 season, with Rich Rodriguez taking over in 2012.

RichRod, who went 43-35 with Arizona from 2012-17, was recently hired to be Louisiana-Monroe’s offensive coordinator and his son Rhett Rodriguez, a UA quarterback, joined him as a graduate transfer.

No word on what Kevin Sumlin, who was fired in December after three seasons and a 9-20 record, has planned for his post-Arizona career.