Jan. 29, 2002
NEW ORLEANS - The University of Arizona will have at least five former student-athletes or coaches in Sunday's Super Bowl for the second consecutive season.
Former NCAA career sacks leader Tedy Bruschi, a linebacker with the New England Patriots, will join St. Louis Rams' backup tailback Trung Canidate and tight end Brandon Manumaleuna on the field at the Superdome in New Orleans for Super Bowl XXXVI.
UA also has two former Wildcat assistant coaches on the St. Louis staff. Assistant head and offensive line coach John Matsko was UA's line coach under Larry Smith in 1986, and St. Louis special teams coordinator Bobby April coached under Smith at Arizona from 1980 to 1986.
A year ago former Wildcats Chris McAlister, a cornerback, and Edwin Mulitalo, an offensive guard, started for the Baltimore Ravens against the New York Giants in the Super Bowl, opposite offensive lineman Glenn Parker and former UA coaches Larry Mac Duff and Johnnie Lynn.
Mac Duff was special teams coordinator for the Giants and Lynn coached on the defensive staff. Mac Duff was defensive coordinator under former UA mentor Dick Tomey from 1987 to 1996 and rejoined the UA staff as John Mackovic's defensive coordinator last season. Lynn was the Wildcat's secondary coach under Tomey from 1988 to 1993.
Bruschi, a six-year NFL veteran, will be appearing in his second Super Bowl, having played for the Patriots as a rookie against the Green Bay Packers in 1997. He was a star UA edge rusher from 1993-96 who finished with 52 career sacks, tying an NCAA mark built by the late Derrick Thomas during his collegiate career at Alabama. Bruschi has 73 tackles this year.
Canidate is a second-year player for the Rams, playing behind All-Pro Marshall Faulk in the Rams' backfield and on St. Louis special teams. He led the team with a figure of 5.7 yards per carry this year and had 78 carries for 441 yards and five touchdowns. He's the club's top kickoff return specialist and returned 36 for a 20.8 yard average.
Manumaleuna, a rookie who is the Rams' backup tight end behind Ernie Conwell, caught one pass for one yard and a touchdown this season.
Former UA offensive lineman Glenn Parker has played in more Super Bowls than any other ex-Wildcat, as a starter for the Buffalo Bills in four straight Super Bowls from 1991 to 1994 and last year's appearance with the Giants. Buffalo tackle John Fina played in the last three Bills' Super Bowl appearances and former UA tailback Vance Johnson played in three Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos as a wide receiver in 1987, 1988 and 1990.