(Marana, AZ) Since the hiring of new Arizona football head coach Jedd Fisch, there has been a whirlwind of emotions and opinions.
We’re going to break it down into three categories. Most of the fans have been in at least two of the categories and some in all three.
Group One: The fans that were flabbergasted and angered on the choice and immediately took their emotions directly to social media, especially the Arizona Football Facebook groups and Twitter.
Fisch is currently the quarterbacks coach for the NFL’s New England Patriots.
They zeroed in on these “red flags.”
Fisch never played football at any level.
He’s not had any real head coaching experience.
He’s had fourteen coaching jobs since 1997.
He’s never been on anyone’s radar as a hot commodity coaching candidate.
He was President Robbins friend and that’s why he go the job.
Most of his coaching experience has been in the NFL where they don’t have to recruit.
The question, “can he relate to high school players enough to get them to come to Tucson.”
He’s not an alumni or has any ties to the University other than his daughter matriculates here.
Can he engage the City of Tucson and fill the stands at Arizona Stadium?
Realistically, most Wildcat fans were in this category at first and still a significant number remain.
Group Two: The fans that were scratching their heads initially but have decided after the nosedive the program has been taking for years, they accepted the hiring of Fisch from the get go and are “All In.”
They justified their reasons with, “he’s coached under some outstanding coaches both in college and more so in the NFL.
Some high profile coaches he’s worked for have given their stamp of approval on Dr. Robbin’s hire.”
Being tutored by some of the best coaches in the business has its merits for sure, but when it’s your team and the decision making is under your name, things can take a different direction. Not saying they will, but it’s a distinct possibility.
It’s like watching and learning to drive when you’re sixteen from your dad, who’s never been in an auto accident. Now it’s your turn to actually take the keys and sit behind the wheel for the first time. It could be a good experience or there could be some very interesting challenges.
The fans in this group are waiting with baited breath on who he will surround himself with for his assistant coaches. Fans as well as alumni are betting on at least one or more high profile former Cat players will fill part of his staff.
This is where it can get very intriguing. The advantage of all his coaching stops, has variably allowed Fisch to make some very good contacts along the way. Who he gets that will want to come to Tucson and rebuild the dumpster fire that currently is Arizona Football will be another huge task. It’s easy to get high profile assistant coaches with a winning program.
Will Coach Fisch be able to attract high three star and a few four star recruits that he and his staff will be able to develop into NFL quality draft picks as Dick Tomey and Larry Smith did?
The big questions in this group are, will these the fans accept 6-5 to 8-4 records that will ensure a minor Bowl Game most years? On the flip side, are they confident that Coach Fisch can pull the program out of the ashes and into the promised land of Arizona’s first Rose Bowl and an outright PAC-12 Conference Championship?
Some of the fans in Group One have migrated into Group Two.
Group Three: The fans that on the exterior “say” they’ve accepted Coach Fisch to be politically correct, yet don’t want to be labeled as bad Wildcat fans or Aumni.
Worse yet, they don’t want their fellow Arizona fans especially on social media in the Wildcat Football Chat Rooms to say, “well go root for ASU,” which in reality is the most ridiculous and overused saying that’s been around for eons.
Fans in the real world should be able to air their pleasures as well as their concerns and displeasures about their team’s performance. They have the right to talk about the hirings and firings of coaches without reprisal from the “sheep fan base” that will blindly walk off the cliff with the Mackovic’s and Sumlin’s.
These fans want to put their best face on publicly. They still have reservations about the fact Jedd Fisch was hired relatively quickly and not a lot of details were released if any other candidates were given a real chance to interview without bias.
Most likely the majority of fans are in this final group.
So good, bad or indifferent, Jedd Fisch is the new head football coach at the University of Arizona and we’re sure the consensus of all three groups at the end of the day will be wanting outright success for Fisch, his staff and most of all the Wildcat players.
Arizona, not being known as a football school has had a lot of success with the likes of Jim Young, Larry Smith and Dick Tomey. One day Jedd Fisch may be able to put his name among those previous great coaches.
First things first. Involve the former players into your present team and the program.
Embrace the community, be visible and accessible.
Keep high profile in state high school players at home.
Stop the bleeding of the twelve game losing streak and beat ASU.
If you can accomplish those goals, you’ll have a packed Arizona Stadium and the keys to the city.
Only time will tell and how much the long suffering Cat fans are willing to wait. That’s the mystery.