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Mackovic Completes Football Coaching Staff
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 12/19/2000
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TUCSON, Ariz.-Arizona head football coach John Mackovic has completed the Wildcats' 2001 coaching staff with the addition of offensive coordinator Rick Dykes, defensive ends coach Steve Bernstein, running backs coach Bobby Kennedy, special teams coordinator Scott Pelluer and tight ends coach Jay Boulware.

Those five join Mackovic and four returning coaches from Dick Tomey's recent staffs including Duane Akina, who will become defensive coordinator and continue to coach the secondary, offensive line coach Charlie Dickey, defensive line coach Marty Long, and wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello.

Bernstein will coach whip linebackers, Pelluer will coach inside linebackers and Dykes will coach the quarterback position, Mackovic said. Additionally, Mackovic announced that Brent Brennan and Jeff Rodgers would be offensive and defensive graduate assistants this coming year, respectively.

"I knew when I returned to coaching that the entire staff needed to reflect my total commitment to excellence," Mackovic said. "This group of men has successful experience and an excitement for our future that will be contagious to our players," he said.

Dykes, 40, returns to coaching after a year working in private business. He was a major factor in Texas Tech's offensive production during the 1990s with 10 seasons of experience, and spent his final four years from 1996-1999 as offensive coordinator.

Dykes served as running backs coach at Tech for six seasons from 1990-95 and helped Bam Morris win the 1993 Doak Walker Award and tutored Byron Hanspard into a Heisman Trophy top-10 finalist.

A 1982 graduate of New Mexico, he entered the coaching ranks at his high school alma mater, Albuquerque Sandia High, and later was a graduate assistant at Rice in 1982-83. He was promoted to running backs coach at Rice from 1984-87, and coached the same position at Temple in 1988-89 before joining the Texas Tech staff under his father, former head coach Spike Dykes.

Bernstein, 56, brings three decades of defensive coaching experience to the Arizona staff. He most recently was secondary coach at LSU from 1998-99 and was a Mackovic assistant at Texas from 1992-1997, also as the defensive secondary coach. He held the same position under Mackovic at Illinois from 1988-91, and at Colorado (1985-87), Virginia Tech (1978-84), Wake Forest (1973-77), Utah State (1970-72) and the Quantico Marines (1969).

A 1967 graduate of Occidental College in Los Angeles where he was a star running back, Bernstein joined the U.S. Marine Corps and spent three years in the service, earning decoration as a platoon leader in the Vietnam War. He added a master's degree from Utah State in 1972.

Bernstein has coached in 11 bowl games since 1980 including two at Virginia Tech, two at Colorado, four at Illinois and three at Texas. Five of his Texas players played in the NFL draft including first-round pick Bryant Westbrook, second-round pick Van Malone, third-round selection Chris Carter and later round draftees Taje Allen and Lance Gunn. He is widely regarded as a recruiter and evaluator of talent.

Kennedy, 34, spent the last six seasons as a running backs (1999-00) and receivers (1995-98) coach at Wake Forest. Prior to that he was on the staff at Wyoming under Joe Tiller as a tight ends coach, and was tight ends coach at Penn State in 1992. At Wyoming he coached All-Americans Ryan Yarborough, the nation's second-leading receiver in 1993, and Marcus Harris, who led the nation in receiving yards per game in 1994.

At Penn State in 1992 he coached All-Americans Troy Drayton and Kyle Brady, the latter a first-round NFL draft selection. He also worked with Wake Forest's Desmond Clark, the leading receiver in ACC history.

A 1989 graduate of Northern Colorado University, Kennedy began his coaching career at Boulder, Colo., High School and became a college coach as a graduate assistant for two years while earning his master's degree under Mackovic at Illinois.

Pelluer, 41, a four-year starting linebacker at Washington State from 1977-80, brings professional playing experience, Pac-10 coaching experience and Pac-10 bloodlines to the Arizona staff.

Most recently, Pelluer was defensive coordinator for two seasons at Skyline High School, a state championship team in the Seattle area, and also served as color analyst for WSU football radio broadcasts. His brother, Steve, was Washington's starting quarterback from 1981-83 and his younger brother Arnie was a Stanford linebacker from 1984-87.

He was on the staff at Washington from 1996-98 as roverbacks and whip linebackers coach and spent three seasons at Northern Arizona University as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 1993 to 1995. His 1995 unit led the Big Sky in every defensive category and gave up the lowest points per game - 14.8 - in the league since 1978. He was linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Boise State from 1987-92 after playing six years professionally for the New Orleans Saints.

Boulware, 28, comes to Arizona from the staff at Northern lllinois University. He spent four years in DeKalb from 1997 to 2000 coaching tight ends the first year and guards and centers the final three seasons. He was a student coach working with tight ends under Mackovic at Texas in 1994-95, while earning a degree in business economics after his playing career was cut short by a heart condition.

He was raised in Irving, Texas, and earned All-District and first-team All-State honors at Nimitz High School in 1990, then played guard in his redshirt freshman season during Mackovic's first year as head coach at Texas. Slated for starting duty as a sophomore, an irregular heartbeat caused him to give up football and concentrate on coaching.

Boulware graduated from UT in 1996 and became a graduate assistant and tight ends coach, working with All-American Pat Fitgerald that fall. He moved to the NIU staff in 1997 to coach tight ends for one year before moving to the offensive line position. The Huskies improved from 0-11 in his first two years to 5-6 and 6-5 in the final two seasons while he was an assistant.

Akina, 44, has been at Arizona since joining Dick Tomey's first staff in 1987 and was switched from associate head coach to defensive coordinator shortly after Mackovic was hired Dec. 4. He was offensive coordinator for four seasons at UA from 1992-95, but otherwise has been a fixture on defense as secondary coach. He's coached such UA stars as Chuck Cecil, Darryll Lewis, Jeff Hammerschmidt, Tony Bouie, Brandon Sanders and Chris McAlister, among others.

Dickey, 37, will enter his 10th season as an Arizona coach in 2001. A former standout guard for the Wildcats in 1983 and 1984, he was offensive line coach at Northern Arizona from 1990-91 after a year as a graduate assistant under Tomey in 1988 and a year as an assistant at Scottsdale Community College in 1989. He played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1987. UA has sent nine linemen into the NFL during Dickey's tenure.

Long, 36, has been on the UA staff as defensive line coach for the past five seasons. Arizona finished 8th in the country and 21st in total defense in 2000, plus one of Long's pupils, junior tackle Keoni Fraser, tied a 27-year-old UA record by recovering five fumbles. Long has coached for 15 years including assistant jobs at Western Kentucky (1986), his alma mater The Citadel (1987-93) and Baltimore of the Canadian Football League (1994-95).

Ianello, 35, has been a recruiting coordinator for 11 years, seven of those at Arizona since 1994, and has expanded the school's reach into the Texas prep ranks in a big way in recent years. He's coached wide receivers for four seasons. One of his charges, Dennis Northcutt, was the first pick of the second round in the NFL draft a year ago and played extensively for the Cleveland Browns this year. He has previous experience at Wisconsin (1990-93) and Alabama (1988-89).

Brennan, 27, served as a graduate assistant under Tomey this past season, working with wide receivers coach Rob Ianello. He has coached for five years, including two as a high school assistant, and one each as a graduate assistant at Hawai'i and Washington.

Rodgers, 22, is a recent University of North Texas graduate who completed a four-year career this past fall as a linebacker for the Mean Green. UNT was second in the Big West Conference in total defense in 2000. He's expected to enroll in graduate school an join the UA program this spring or in late summer.

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