Casteel excited about new challenge

Jeff Casteel was introduced to the media on Friday. Read on to see the timeline of his hire, thoughts on moving on, and more.

The wait for a defensive coordinator was long and full of speculation, but in the end it seems worth it for Arizona, as new defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel took the podium with offensive coordinator Calvin Magee and head coach Rich Rodriguez to discuss the move to Arizona.

"I am excited to complete our staff," Rodriguez said. "Obviously there are a lot of guys I have worked with before and a couple that I haven't, but I think first and foremost that they are great teachers and great developers of young men. Great people, great families.

"I think the fit for our program where we want to go in the future is outstanding. I am really, really excited. I think the staff came together as well as I could have possibly hoped. It took a while because these guys were still involved in some games and very important games and we did not want to disrupt that."

Rodriguez admits that the process of completing his coaching staff may have been longer than he would have liked, but says a lot of it had to do with the bowl games those coaches were involved in.

"I did a little bit of the Greg Byrne thing, went underground somewhat," Rodriguez said. "I was not as secretive as Greg was I don't think. Nonetheless I think the process took a little longer simply because at the time I knew that some of the guys I was wanting to be on staff were going to be in bowls, but I didn't know what bowls.

"Some of the bowls they were in happened to be a little later and that caused the process to be delayed a little bit. I do remember saying I wanted to be deliberate and this is more deliberate than I have ever been, but I think what is the most important is how it ended up."

Casteel wanted to respect the West Virginia program that he had been with for quite a while, thus would not truly discuss the job until after the Orange Bowl.

"I have been talking with Rich for the last 20 years," Casteel said of his relationship with Rodriguez. "I wanted to make sure I could concentrate on the Orange Bowl and I thought that was important for the players at West Virginia and I thought it was important for the coaches. Once we got through that, that is when I started focusing on this opportunity."

For Casteel, the decision to come to Arizona was made in large part due to the simple fact that he felt it was just time to move on.

"I thought it was time for another challenge," he said. "I just thought that it was an opportunity to get back with Rich and Calvin and these guys. We have been together for a good while and I just thought the opportunity to leave West Virginia was the right time to do it and embark on another challenge and that is what I look at University of Arizona and working in this league is another challenge and one we are looking forward to going after."

While Casteel did indeed decide to come to Arizona, that certainly does not mean that the decision was easy due to his numerous connections to West Virginia.

"It was tough, there's no doubt, because of my family and it is where I have been for the majority of my life," he said. "It is about change and you need to branch out a little bit and I thought this was the right opportunity to do it.

"I just think things have changed a little bit and I thought this was the right time to move away from West Virginia and embark on this journey."

Casteel did not make the decision alone, as he took last weekend to think about the opportunity and discuss it with his family.

"It was a tough decision and I really didn't start to focus on the job here until after the Orange Bowl," Casteel said. "We got back to Morgantown on I believe Thursday and we sat down with my family over the weekend and that is when we decided what we were going to do."

Waiting for Casteel certainly was not easy for Rodriguez, but he made it clear that he couldn't be happier with the result.

"It is more difficult," Rodriguez said of waiting. "I am excited for Jeff and his staff to be able to coach in a BCS bowl. That's a great opportunity. Those don't come along a lot. Jeff, Bill, and David I think the right thing to do is let them concentrate on the bowl game and try to have success and they did.

"They won the game and it was all great. It made it a little bit more difficult and a little bit longer than I wanted to, so I had to have that plan A and I had to have a plan B just in case it did not work out and thankfully I was able to stick with plan A."

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