Pressure on Rodriguez to fill staff

There is pressure on Rich Rodriguez to make a move for a defensive coordinator. Read on for the latest, including an update on Jeff Casteel, possible second candidate, and more.

With Arizona State's hiring of Todd Graham on Wednesday, even Arizona fans had to take a few moments to switch focus from Rich Rodriguez and Arizona to the rivals to the north. However, that time quickly passed as Rodriguez still has plenty of work to do completing his coaching staff.

Rodriguez has been consistent in maintaining that his coaching staff will be complete by the end of the weekend and we have little reason to not believe that to be true. Sources say that Rodriguez feels that he can't wait until next month, despite the fact that coaches have done it in the past and been successful. The biggest worry with waiting would be that other schools will remain aggressive in choosing its coaches while Arizona patiently waits.

The biggest question left on the staff is who Rodriguez will name as defensive coordinator and frankly there is not any more of an indication than there was when Rodriguez was hired. He has been very quiet in hiring a defensive staff and we have difficulty believing the recent reports that he is going to wait for an answer from Jeff Casteel until after the Orange Bowl.

Sources say the pressure was turned up on Casteel this week, but we still do not have an indication if an answer has been given or if he is legitimately undecided. The one thing that sources do agree on is that Casteel is a good guy and has no intentions of stringing anybody along. Still, Rodriguez wants to be aggressive and we would be surprised if some kind of resolution does not come this week.

If Casteel says no, the options for a defensive coordinator are completely up in the air. Justin Wilcox is one name that people like, but it would be somewhat of a surprise to see him leave Tennessee. Many people feel he would be relatively loyal to Derek Dooley and with no connection to Rodriguez, it would be a surprise if he left.

Vic Koenning has stated that he is looking for a place close to home to coach and although he is leaving Illinois, there is a good chance Arizona is not an option. As of Monday, there was no contact between Koenning and Rodriguez, as North Carolina is the heavily rumored destination. What is interesting about that move is that it makes Dan Disch a possibility.

Disch has coached at Florida, Illinois, and spent last season as the defensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi. He runs an odd front defense and would likely bring Ron West as his linebackers coach. West and Rodriguez have a history at Tulane and we have heard that West has interviewed for a position on the defensive staff.

It is not a guarantee that Disch is a target and he could even be a factor for the head coaching vacancy at Southern Mississippi. However, he is one name being mentioned and something Arizona fans should pay attention to. Beyond that, it is hard to gauge just who the targets are.

Whether Casteel says yes or not, the pressure is on Rodriguez and he knows it. Numerous times he has said that the defensive coordinator will be his most important hire and at this point there are not many Arizona fans that disagree.

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