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Brent Brennan's ties to Dick Tomey run deep

Posted at 9:55 PM, Dec 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-22 23:55:25-05

TUCSON, Arizona — San Jose State head coach Brent Brennan is returning to Tucson to coach the Spartans against Ball State in the Arizona Bowl.

He's also a strong candidate for the Arizona Wildcat head coaching position.

The last time Brennan was in Tucson, it was for Dick Tomey’s memorial in May of 2019. Brennan was part of Tomey’s staff for one year at Arizona, and then later at San Jose State. Brennan refers to Tomey as his football Dad.

"He’s the guy I would always call when things got hard for me, professionally, personally, whatever," an emotional Brennan said at Tomey's memorial. "Lots of people have eluded to that; that he was that for them. But, he was incredible for me in that way."

This week, during a zoom media call, Brennan recalled some of Tomey’s sayings, often referred to as "Tomey-isms."

"The harder it gets, the better we play," said Brennan. "Football isn't complicated. People are."

"You learn that as a head coach now, goodness gracious."

Brennan has the Spartans at 7-0, and ranked 19th in the country. He is one of nine finalists for the 2020 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl.