Though he was hired back in February, Thursday was the first time Tedy Bruschi had been on the Arizona campus since being named as senior advisor to coach Jedd Fisch. He doesn’t know when he’ll be back in town, but that won’t stop him from contributing in his new role.
“I give Coach Fisch whatever he needs and whatever he asks from me,” Bruschi said Saturday after Arizona’s Spring Game, in which he served as honorary coach of Team Blue. “I told him, I’m going to help any way I can. Some of the experiences that I have and some of the things that I can see, it can help. Being able to see practices, whether it’s remote, or having meetings via remote, to still feel like I’m part of this program in my own little way is something I’m privileged to do.”
A two-time All-American and 1995 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Bruschi is one of several former Wildcats that have joined the program in some form under Fisch. Dozens more have visited practice during the spring, and on Saturday more than 100 ex-players were in attendance.
“Those are great signs, because alumni have instincts,” Bruschi said. “You get instincts about coaches and feelings about them and what they’re like. Jedd’s done such a great job of being proactive and welcoming guys. Word gets out, and alumni want to come see for themselves, and when the alumni want to come see for themselves it’s a great sign.”
Bruschi played during arguably the heyday of Arizona football, the Desert Swarm era of the early to mid-1990s, when Dick Tomey used a workmanlike approach without any frills. That’s a far cry from the social media savviness of Fisch, who tweets regularly and who told reporters on Saturday the program has contracted with a company called Liquid Light to operate its YouTube channel (and produce videos like the one in which Rob Gronkowski set a Guinness World Record by catching a football dropped 620 feet from a helicopter).
“I think he’s done a great job of realizing the kids he has to reach are 16, 17, 18 years old,” Bruschi said of Fisch. “A good coach recognizes the sign of the times and how a program has to change. That’s one of Jedd’s great qualities. I hope a lot of players and potential Wildcats, future Wildcats, can see what’s going on here.”
But like with his desire to bring alumni back into the fold, Bruschi said Fisch knows the importance of remembering the past. A great example of that was Fisch’s decision to wear a Tomey-era windbreaker, despite 90-degree temperatures, throughout the Spring Game.
“It’s like he knows what to do,” Bruschi said. “He told me he was going to do that, and it just makes me feel more strongly about him. Little things like that are so important to a lot of people.”