Arizona Defensive Coordinator Hot Board

Arizona parted ways with defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel on Monday. Read on to see who we believe are the top candidates to replace him.

Ron West; Current Postion: Former Defensive Coordinator at North Carolina

West is our top target for a variety of reasons. He previously coached with Rich Rodriguez at Clemson and Rodriguez actually almost had him at West Virginia, but a last second change of heart led to West staying at Clemson. West served as co-defensive coordinator at Arizona State under Todd Graham, so he is familiar with an unorthdox style of defense. He has run numerous defenses in the past, including a 4-2-5 at North Carolina. With Rodriguez being familiar with him and West having a ton of respect nationally, this hire is underrated and makes a lot of sense. 

Jon Tenuta; Current Postion: Unemployed. Former Defensive Coordinator at Virginia

Tenuta was not retained as defensive coordinator of Virginia when Bronco Mendenhall was hired. He does not have a history with Rodriguez, but is considered to be a strong coordinator and is currently unemployed. Tenuta has 35 seasons of collegiate coaching, including being the defensive coordinator at Kansas State, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. He's never been west, but fans would like him considering he blitzes a ton and has a style of defense that at the very least is entertaining. 

Ed Orgeron; Current Postion: Defensive Line at LSU

Before we get started, it makes sense to say that this is a complete longshot. He is pretty well paid, but it is about more than that. He is comfortable in Louisiana and he may feel that he is in line for a head coaching job in a few years, which could be derailed if he comes to Arizona and fails to have success. Although Orgeron has struggled some as a coordinator, he would automatically do what Casteel didn't and that is recruit at an extremely high level.

Osia Lewis; Current Position: Defensive Line at San Diego State

Lewis has experience running the 3-3-5 at New Mexico and San Diego State. He is a Tucson native and played his college ball at Oregon State. While at New Mexico, the Lobos went to four bowl games and its defensive unit was fifth in the country in rushing defense in 2003 and first in the MW in total defense in 2003 and 2004. SDSU finished among the best teams in the country defensive due in large part to only allowing 111 rushing yards per game. The Aztecs have improved in nearly each of his years at SDSU. 

Chuck Cecil; Current Position: Secondary Coach at St. Louis Rams

Yes, we're putting him on the list. He is a secondary coach in the NFL and the chance to return to his former college could be enticing. We've never heard of him being seriously considered in the past, but what better way for Rodriguez to get back on the good side of fans than to hire a loved alum who could actually be good at the job? He doesn't have experience beyond the secondary and Arizona wants to keep Jahmile Addae, so that could be an issue unless Cecil simply acts as a coordinator. 

Ricky Hunley; Current Position: Unemployed

Hunley will not be retained by Mike Norvell, so he is looking for a job. He is one of the best players in school history and no matter what coaching position is ooen, it feels like Arizona fans mentioned him for it right away. This move would have plenty of support and while there would be questions in terms of experience, Arizona could probably do worse. 

Other Names: Joe Salave'a, Justin Wilcox, Phil Snow, Reggie Herring, Chuck Heater


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