Football team prepares to move on

Arizona interim head coach Tim Kish spoke to the media Monday. Read on to see an injury report, an update on how the team is dealing with change, and more.

It may be with an interim title, but Tim Kish took the podium on Monday as Arizona's head football coach for the rest of the season.

"This is not the best of circumstances for this program at this point, but for us moving forward we are trying to make the best of the circumstances," Kish said.

The transition, for this season at least, became complete on Friday when former Arizona coach Mike Stoops took time to talk with the team for the first time since his firing.

"I certainly felt like he had the right to do so," Kish said. "This is still a part of his team and I am glad that he chose to do so. I think it was very positive. It was a chance for him to have an opportunity to put some closure on it for himself and understand that he is still with the team and I think the guys reacted to it well and very positively."

For Kish, the biggest difficulty so far has been the task of having to be both the head coach and defensive coordinator.

"The biggest change is having to wear two hats right now, it just pulls at you in a lot of different directions," Kish said. "I try to separate that when I can. I am still the defensive coordinator and handling all the responsibilities of the practice organization and then being the head coach and having all of the responsibility of the practice organization from that standpoint."

Looking back on it, Kish says that Greg Byrne's decision to let go of Stoops this early in the season was a bit surprising, but not something he thought about much.

"That's not the way we have to go about our business," Kish said. "If you are thinking that way, you are probably not conducting your business the right way. You are not focusing on the right things. It has always been about keeping this team prepared and giving them the best chance to be successful every week and maybe in the back of our minds we knew things weren't headed in a good direction, but we certainly didn't anticipate the outcome at this point."

However, Kish believes that the lack of job security is something that comes with the territory of being a head coach.

"You take an oath as a head coach professionally, we get in this to help these young men and help them become better citizens and better people," Kish said. "That is the most important thing to me. That is the risk you take when you become a coach, especially at this level and I think that is well worth the risk if you ask me."

Now, attention turns more towards UCLA and Kish believes that the team is starting to be ready for Thursday's game.

"We're just taking this one day at a time," he said. "This is our one game at a time approach and I think it will be good for our guys to be out there Thursday night running around and have an opportunity.

"I think they are good. We went through that grieving process for a couple days and then moved on quickly to the healing process. The focus is good, I think the energy and enthusiasm has been great and I look forward to having an opportunity Thursday night."


  • Adam Hall re-aggravated his knee injury and the status of his season is now in doubt.

    "Unfortunately as you know he did not play in the fourth quarter, so there is some concern about whether or not he will be back out on the field," Kish said.

  • There has been some shuffling with the coaching staff, specifically on special teams, as Jeff Hammerscmidt will now be getting some extra help.

    "Jeff Hammerschimdt is still the special teams coordinator, but we are giving a little more responsibility to Garrett Chachere and David Nichol to help out there," Kish said. "For what it's worth, Jeff is going upstairs to have a chance for the first time to get a better feel for what is going on special teams wise."

    In addition, John Bonano will now handle field goals.

  • Kish called on UA basketball coach Sean Miller for some help, as Miller talked to the team last week.

    "Coach Miller was outstanding and challenged our team a little bit, which he can do," Kish said. "I just have the utmost respect for him and what he has been able to accomplish himself as a head coach and what he has been able to do with his program. No better person here on campus than he to come out and address the team."

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