Feb. 28, 2011
Walters moves to a full-time assistant slot after serving a year as the defensive graduate assistant on the Wildcat staff. He joined the Arizona staff in August 2010 following a noted playing career at the University of Colorado.
"After exploring our options I felt Ryan is the best fit at this time for our team," Stoops said. "He brings a youthful energy to the staff and solid knowledge of our system. We're able to continue preparations for spring ball immediately."
"Obviously I'm more than excited about getting this job and opportunity and the fact Coach Stoops has the confidence to hire me," Walters said. "I have a lot to prove and his is a great situation for that.
"We have a great group of players in the secondary, a good mix of veterans and young talent. I'll be working tirelessly to get the job done the way it's supposed to get done," he said.
Walters, 25, was a 33-game starter in four seasons in Boulder, all under secondary coach Greg Brown, who Walters succeeds at Arizona after the latter returned to the staff at CU earlier this year. Stoops appointed veteran University of Texas secondary coach Duane Akina earlier this month, but he opted to return to a position with the Longhorns.
The UA assignment is his first full-time coaching position and he becomes the second-youngest current football assistant coach in the Pac-12 Conference behind Brian Johnson of Utah, 24.
Walters earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press and first-team All-Colorado honors from the state's National Football Foundation chapter his senior year. A team captain for the Buffaloes in 2008, Walters also was picked by his teammates as the club's most valuable player, to highlight a number of citations. The CU coaching staff gave him the Hang Tough Award for overcoming adversity, he was an inaugural Gold Group Commitment Award member, plus was feted by fans as winner of the Buffalo Heart Award.
He had 87 tackles, two sacks, seven pass deflections, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two interceptions his senior year. His 20 career passes defended rate No. 15 in Colorado history and his 223 career tackles were No. 45.
Walters played in 46 games for Colorado despite a litany of shoulder, knee and hand injuries, and illness that kept him out of a couple of spring practices.
A native of Los Angeles, Walters was a heralded player at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo., as a three-year starting quarterback. His father, Marc, played quarterback for Colorado from 1986-89.
Walters earned his degree in history from CU in December 2008, with a minor in atmospheric science.
The Walters File Date of Birth: Jan. 21, 1986, Los Angeles High School: Grandview High School, Aurora, Colo. College: Colorado, 2008
Walters in the Postseason 2010 Valero Alamo Bowl, Arizona grad assistant 2007 Independence Bowl, Colorado player 2005 Champs Sports Bowl, Colorado player
Notes... In another staff move, office aide Kris Heavner will take over the offensive graduate assistant position for the Wildcats, Stoops said. Heavner, a four-year letterman at quarterback for UA from 2003-06 and 2007, takes over for Matt Rice, offensive G.A. for the past three seasons. Stoops still has to hire a defensive grad assistant to fill Walters' slot... The Wildcats are scheduled to open spring practice March 21, with four-days-per-week sessions slated to end April 16 with the annual spring game... Spring ball offers a first look at six mid-year transfers... Arizona opens the 2011 season at home against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3, with Pac-12 competition two weeks later in Arizona Stadiumn against Stanford, which surely will be one of the league's favorites... UA's game in Tucson against UCLA on Thursday, Oct. 20, will be shown on ESPN. The off-season rounds of league TV picks will be made May 1 and June 1, with remaining games to be picked during the year by conference television partners... Four or five Cats appear to be potential NFL selections in the April draft -- defensive ends Brooks Reed, Ricky Elmore and D'Aundre Reed, offensive tackle Adam Grant and center Colin Baxter...