Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Mackovic Hopes to Hire Football Defensive Coordinator Within a Week
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 06, 2001
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TUCSON, Ariz.--Arizona head football coach John Mackovic said he hopes to fill UA's open defensive coordinator position by this weekend.

Arizona begins its spring football practice Saturday, March 24, and the coaching staff has been meeting without a coordinator since last Tuesday.

Mackovic said he has received queries from prospective coaches since then, following the Tuesday, Feb. 27, development that coordinator Duane Akina had resigned to take a job as secondary coach at Texas.

Arizona's primary concern is to determine if a viable candidate is familiar with the Wildcats' double-eagle flex defense. Mackovic said the program might otherwise have to re-tool its system and scrap the flex.

"There will be a number of good coaches interested in the job, but maybe only a few would have the qualifications we need if we continue to use the defense Arizona has played so successfully," he said.

Still, considerable talk around Arizona's athletics department relates to Mackovic's stated objectives in strenthening the Cats' passing attack.

"We will put emphasis on a quality passing game -- that is our highest priority," he said. "I want our offensive coaches to feel like we have to go out and control the game on offense, just as Arizona has done on defense for so long."

Some recent hallway buzz around UA football has related to players' off-season work in the weight room.

Sophomore running back Clarence Farmer, for example, is apparently No. 1 among the entire team in recent strength competition. Farmer was UA's leading rusher a year ago and is expected to battle with Leo Mills and Larry Croom for top duties in the backfield this year.

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