Search for new coach begins today

Less than 24 hours after dismissing John Mackovic from his post as head of the Wildcat football program, the search for a new coach has begun. The Wildcats have the luxury of evaluating talent for several months but also the disadvantage of having to search while potential coaches are in the midst of a season.

"The search has started as of right now," Athletic Director Jim Livengood said.

Arizona Livengood named an 11-member search committee as the UA begins the process of finding the replacement for John Mackovic.

Of the 11 names on the head football coach search committee, nine are directly connected to the UA. Assistant Athletic Director Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose is the committee chair.

The other committee members are:

Chris Del Conte: Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Programs Operations.
Jim Click: local businessman.
Bill Estes: local businessman.
Gayle Hopkins: Associate to the Athletic Director.
Bill Morgan: Associate Athletic Director for Compliance.
John Perrin: Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business Affairs.
John Taylor: Faculty member, Chair of the ICAC.
Saunie Taylor: Senior Vice President for Campus Life.
Joel Valdez: Senior Vice President for Business Affairs.
Doug Woodard: Faculty member, Faculty Athletics Representative.

Livengood said the qualification priority pool is as follows:

Head coaching background; communication skills; proven academic track record; organization and discipline; proven football philosophy; compliance; recruiting experience.

He said that while head coaching experience is obviously a huge plus, it is not an automatic disqualification. What would be a disqualification is having any prior troubles with the NCAA. Livengood also stressed that good communication skills were a "critical component."

Livengood says he hopes the committee will compile a list of three to five finalists, and from there he would like to find a replacement by December 1, if not sooner. However, he is aware of the tenuous nature of potential contact with candidates while the regular season continues.

"In that way, candidates can often show an interest through outside sources," Livengood said.

The Athletic Director considers the qualification priority pool a guideline and not necessarily a rock solid foundation. In other words, there could be candidates who don't fit every aspect of the above criteria who could still get serious consideration.

"We need to find the best fit for this program," Livengood said.

LaRose stated that there was no set list of candidates and that the search would be essentially an elimination process. LaRose was on the committee that hired Mackovic, but said that process was just about a week long and this one would be less rushed due to the timetable involved.

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