TUCSON, Ariz.--Former Wyoming and Houston head coach Dana Dimel has joined Arizona's staff as the tight ends coach, head coach Mike Stoops announced today.
Dimel, 43, was a former colleague of Stoops at Kansas State when their tenures as assistants under Bill Snyder coincided from 1992 to 1996. He was head coach at Wyoming for three years from 1997-99 and at Houston from 2000-02, and comes to the UA staff after a second stint in Manhattan, serving as a graduate assistant for offense during Snyder's final year in 2005.
"Dana's a superb addition to our staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge from an offensive perspective with his work at Kansas State for many years, and then as the head coach at Wyoming and Houston his experience is even more broad. He knows the game," Stoops said.
Dimel guided Wyoming to a 23-12 record including twin eight-victory seasons his first two years, then rebuilt the in-state recruiting foundation at Houston where his successor has taken two of the last three teams to bowls with most of Dimel's recruits.
“It’s a very exciting time to be joining the program," Dimel said. "Mike and the coaches have already done an outstanding job with recruiting and laying a base for the program. I’ve known and worked with much of the staff for a number of years and I know what to expect from them and what they expect from me.
"I’m looking forward to coaching the Wildcats and bringing back some championships and bowl titles,” Dimel said.
He succeeds Josh Heupel, who left Stoops' staff last month to return to his alma mater, Oklahoma, as an assistant.
A 1986 Kansas State marketing graduate who lettered for the Wildcats in 1985 and 1986 as an offensive lineman, Dimel was named to the All-America Strength team as a senior. He signed a free-agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings out of college, attending camp in 1987.
Dimel spent 10 years on the KSU staff as a graduate assistant his first two years and as the offensive line coach the next four. He was running game coordinator and OL coach the next two and offensive coordinator in 1995 and 1996. The KSU unit set school scoring and total offense records in 1995.
During his tenure there, 11 KSU players went on to NFL contracts and he was instrumental in developing All-Americans Barrett Brooks, Jim Hmielewski and Quentin Neujahr along with All-Big 12 honorees Jason Johnson, Todd Weiner and Ryan Young. He, like Stoops, was part of Snyder's dynamic reversal of K-State football fortunes, termed at the time by Sports Illustrated as the "biggest turnaround in college football history."
Dimel became the youngest head coach in Division I-A in 1997 at the age of 35 at Wyoming, and left Laramie at the time as one of only 10 head coaches to win no fewer than seven games in every year as a head coach. His 1998 team was ranked No. 25 in the final New York Times computer rankings at 8-3. His 1997 defense was No. 2 nationally in quarterback sacks and No. 6 in pass defense. His final Wyoming team was 7-4 in Mountain West Conference's inaugural season and averaged 400 yards in total offense.
At Houston, Dimel re-established the Texas recruiting focus for the Cougars, redshirting the majority of his first two classes, each rated the best in Conference USA. He is a regarded recruiter in Texas, inking more than 40 student-athletes from the state during his coaching career, the bulk of those from the Greater Houston area. His three Cougar teams were a combined 8-26.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dimel was born Oct. 9, 1962. Prior to earning his degree from KSU, he earned an associate of arts degree from Hutchinson, Kan., Community College. He and his wife, Julie, have a son, Winston, and a daughter, Josey.