March 3, 2003
TUCSON - The University of Arizona is in the market for a defensive ends coach -- and some other coaching spots -- five days before spring practice after Charlie Camp confirmed with Wildcat head coach John Mackovic today that he was leaving to take a job at Oregon State.
The departure was the second in four days and third within a week after wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello announced Friday he was leaving to return to Wisconsin and coach tight ends.
Mackovic said he would make a decision on Tuesday whether the staff would delay the start of spring football practice scheduled to commence Saturday.
Mackovic said he was close to announcing a replacement for defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff, who resigned Feb. 24 to take the special teams coordinator job with the San Francisco 49ers.
"Charlie's going to Oregon State to coach linebackers," Mackovic said. "When he came here we asked him to coach a spot (defensive ends) that wasn't necessarily his favorite. Part of that was that we ran the double-eagle flex, with which he was familiar as a player. Now that we're clearly moving away from the scheme, it's a good chance for him to return to linebackers."
"It's a great opportunity for me," Camp said today. "I've been a Wildcat as a player and a coach, and that part of leaving is difficult. But, professionally this makes sense."
Camp has been on UA's staff for just one season after coming to Tucson from San Diego State where he coached linebackers from 2000-2001. He was a four-year letterman inside linebacker at UA from 1991-95, redshirting one season in 1993. After a year in the Canadian Football League, he began his coaching career at Sahuarita, Ariz., High School in 1997 then was a graduate assistant at Iaho in 1998 and a full-time outside linebackers coach there in 1999.
Ianello, a nine-year UA staff member, returns to Wisconsin where he served as on-campus recruiting coordinator in 1990-91 and recruiting coordinator from 1992-93. He also assisted in recruiting at Alabama from 1988-89 after a year as graduate assistant on the Crimson Tide staff.
"I enjoyed my time here at Arizona and appreciate the opportunities that were given to me by Coach (Dick) Tomey, Coach Mackovic and (athletics director) Jim Livengood," Ianello said today. "The Wisconsin opportunity came along at a time that was good for me, my wife (UA basketball assistant Denise Dove Ianello, who also is leaving UA) and our family. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up."
Mackovic told the Arizona Daily Star that he understood the Ianellos' move and will focus on hiring a wide receivers coach. "Whether that person can handle the recruiting coordinator's position will depend on the qualifications," Mackovic told the paper. "I think there are two or three coaches on our staff who can handle recruiting."
Arizona's spring practice is to start Saturday, with practices also set March 10, 11 and 13 before the team is off during the university's Spring Break recess. The original schedule has practice resuming Tuesday, March 25, after the break.
Spring ball should be one of the more interesting in years for the Wildcats, who enter without a clear-cut favorite at the quarterback position, although sophomore Nic Costa has some playing experience. Redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara will battle Costa until two heralded incoming freshmen arrive in August, and Mackovic has said he expects wide-open competition among those four for the top spot.
Also, new offensive coordinator Mike Deal and new quarterbacks coach Jeff Hecklinski open their Arizona careers in spring ball. They were named to their posts in early February after coordinator Rick Dykes left the staff to return to private business in Texas and linebackers coach Scott Pelluer's job was eliminated in favor of an additional offensive coach.
Mackovic said the program is likely to depart from the double-eagle flex defense, in use by Arizona since 1992. The defense actually began changing a year ago with the installation of more coverage schemes, and under a new defensive coordinator in 2003 the flex is clearly in the rearview mirror.
Spring ball also will feature the Cats' quest for replacements for two key All-Pac-10 performers, linebacker Lance Briggs and wide receiver Bobby Wade. Also, the health of seniors-to-be Clarence Farmer, a 2001 All-Pac-10 running back, and cornerback Michael Jolivette are questions that should be answered in spring ball. Both missed most of 2002 with knee injuries.