The Arizona football team begins its 2013 season against Northern Arizona at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30, which is 98 days away. From now until then, this Web site will count down the days with facts about the Wildcats, their players, coaching staff and opponents. This is not a ranking, only a list of 100 facts and observances related to the 2013 Arizona football team and coach Rich Rodriguez.
On to Day 98 of our countdown. …
Rich Rodriguez turns 50 today, making him only the fifth out of 19 permanent Arizona head coaches since J.F. Pop McKale to reach that mark while coaching in Tucson.
The average starting age of Arizona’s coaches starting with McKale (who coached from 1914-1930) is 38.9 years old. Rodriguez was 48 when he was hired Nov. 21, 2011. McKale was the youngest to be hired in this stretch, only 26 years old. He was 43 when he left his football coaching duties to become athletic director.
The average age when the 18 football coaches (before Rodriguez) departed is only 43.7.
That means the average tenure of the coaches is only 4.8 years.
The Rodriguez era is off to an encouraging start with the Wildcats finishing 8-4 with a bowl victory in his first season last year. Arizona fans are hoping Rodriguez becomes the oldest football coach to leave Arizona.
Dick Tomey has that distinction, coaching the Wildcats until he was 62 in 2000. He lasted 13 years at Arizona, the longest tenure since McKale walked the sidelines. The next longest is Miles Casteel (1939-1948) and Jim LaRue (1959-1966), both of whom coached eight years. Casteel did not coach in 1943 and 1944 because Arizona did not field a team during World War II.