Originally posted on No 2 Minute Warning  |  Last updated 10/11/11

Arizona expected to have interesting coaching search

Arizona announced Monday night that they had relieved Mike Stoops as head coach of the Wildcats. Here is my story on Examiner and here is the official release from Arizona. Defensive coordinator Tim Kish has been named the interim head coach for the remainder of the season and will coach his first game for the Wildcats against UCLA after a bye week this week. Kish is the 98th ranked defensive coordinator according to Coaches By The Numbers.

Getty Images.

Perhaps the writing was on the wall with a 1-5 record and five straight losses, including a loss to Oregon State, but look at the schedule Stoops was faced with. In Arizona’s five-game losing streak the Wildcats lost games to Oklahoma State, Stanford and Oregon and a loss to USC is not exactly the worst loss. I can’t excuse a loss to Oregon State other than to say the Beavers were due. Stoops was 41-50 as a head coach at Arizona and always seemed to be on a hot seat after never getting Arizona to get over a hump of mediocrity. Stoops did manage to have some good moments with Arizona, including the program’s first three bowl appearances since the 1998 season. Stoops took a few seasons to get Arizona to start winning some games, and the Wildcats had winning seasons each of the last three years.

So where will Arizona go from here?

As mentioned in my story, some names that have been brought up in the conversation have included Boise State’s Chris Petersen, who is friends with Arizona AD Greg Byrne dating back to their time together at Oregon. Petersen was a wide receivers coach while Byrne was an assistant AD for the Ducks. The other name that seems to make some sense is Mike Bellotti, former Oregon coach and current ESPN analyst. Some have, of course, thrown around the name Mike Leach. Leach will be back in coaching someday and this certainly would be a bold move for Byrne to make. It could work, but we’ll see.

We’ll have an updated chart for the 2011 coaching carousel soon, as this is the second coaching change we have seen this season. New Mexico fired Mike Locksley a couple weeks ago to get things rolling this season.

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