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Arizona Wildcats hire Paul Rhoads as defensive coordinator

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Dec 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 22:48:56-05

TUCSON, Ariz — TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Wildcats hired a new defensive coordinator Friday.

Former Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads will take over the role. He replaces Chuck Cecil, who took over the role in the interim after Marcel Yates was fired in October. The Wildcats finished the season 4-8 and 2-7 in Pac-12 play.

“I am very happy to announce that Paul Rhoads has agreed to join the Arizona Football Family as our Defensive Coordinator,” coach Kevin Sumlin said in a statement. “Paul is a man of personal and professional integrity. He brings to Arizona a history of proven success as a leader and teacher who will bring a focus on relationships, communication and fundamentals. I look forward to working with Paul as we continue to position our program for future success.”

Sumlin spent the last two seasons as UCLA's defensive backs coach. He had the head role at Iowa State from 2009 to 2015.

“I can’t begin to express how excited and grateful I am to have the opportunity to work alongside Coach Sumlin and the rest of the Arizona Football Family,” Rhoads said in a statement. “I look forward to getting to know our student-athletes and getting to work on putting them in a position to be successful at a high level. (My wife) Vickie and I are thrilled to be able to become a part of the University of Arizona and Tucson community.”

The Wildcats open the 2020 season Aug. 29 against Hawaii.