Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday

Year in Coaching: 46th

Year at Arizona: Fourth

Veteran defensive line coach Bill Kirelawich is in his fourth season at Arizona. He was named defensive line coach in January 2012 by head coach Rich Rodriguez.

He joined the Wildcat staff after three decades of coaching defense at West Virginia.  His grasp of Rodriguez’s overall program and Jeff Casteel’s 3-3-5 defense is second to none. Kirelawich’s defenses ranked No. 1 nationally in 1996 and No. 3 in 2010. He’s coached in 24 bowl games.

The 2014 season saw seven players rotate on Kirelawich’s line. Senior and team captain Dan Pettinato played his healthiest of four seasons as he totaled 45 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries, including one for a score at Utah. Reggie Gilbert, given a fifth year for 2015, led the group with 49 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.

Arizona’s defensive front significantly improved its production in year two with Kirelawich. In 2013, the Wildcats totaled 77 tackles for a loss of 255 yards after totaling 67 tackles for loss and 16 sacks in 2012. Starting defensive linemen Sione Tuihalamaka (11.0 TFL, 5.0 sacks), Gilbert (7.0 TFL, 4.0 sacks) and Tevin Hood (7.5 TFL and 1.0 sacks) combined for 25.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2013. That trio totaled 11.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks in 2012.

In 2012, Kirelawich saw seven different players start at the defensive line positions. His group racked up 18.5 tackles for a loss of 67 yards.

Kirelawich started coaching at West Virginia in 1979 when he spent a year as a part-time assistant. He coached the defensive line from 1980-87, outside linebackers from 1988-90, the line again from 1991-2000, was an administrative assistant in 2001-02 and coached the line for his final nine years.

His tenure in Morgantown was marked by bowl appearances, high statistical rankings, coaching All-Americans and all-conference players, and the collegiate training of numerous players who went on to the professional ranks. He was the 2010 FootballScoop Defensive Line Coach of the Year.

He began his coaching career with a nine-year stint as head coach at Cardinal Brennan (Pa.) High School from 1970-78. Kirelawich graduated from Salem University in West Virginia in 1969. A team captain and linebacker, Kirelawich still owns the school record with an 89-yard interception return.

Kirelawich and his wife, Maggie, have three children, Billy, Miki and Jake, and a granddaughter, Kate. Billy is Director of Operations for the UA football program.

Kirelawich's Coaching History  
2012- Arizona, defensive line
2003-11 West Virginia, defensive line
2001-02 West Virginia, administrative assistant
1991-2000 West Virginia, defensive line
1988-90 West Virginia, outside linebackers
1980-87 West Virginia, defensive line
1979 West Virginia, part-time assistant
1970-78 Cardinal Brennan High School (Pa.), head coach
Kirelawich in the Bowls listed by season, not date played
2014 VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, Arizona assistant
2013 AdvoCare V100 Bowl, Arizona assistant
2012 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Arizona assistant
2011 Orange Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2010 Champs Sports Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2008 Car Care Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2007 Fiesta Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2006 Gator Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2005 Sugar Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2004 Gator Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2003 Gator Bowl, West Virginia assistant
2002 Continental Tire Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1998 Insight Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1997 Carquest Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1996 Gator Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1994 Carquest Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1993 Sugar Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1989 Gator Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1988 Fiesta Bowl, West Virginia assistant
1987 SunBowl, West Virginia assistant
1984 BluebonnetBowl, West Virginia assistant
1983 Hall of FameBowl, West Virginia assistant
1982 GatorBowl, West Virginia assistant
1981 PeachBowl, West Virginia assistant
Bill Kirelawich File  
Pronounciation Kerr-LAV-itch
Hometown Frackville, Pa.
High School Cardinal Brennan (Ashland, Pa.)
College Salem University, 1969
Playing Career Salem Unviersity, 1965-68, linebacker
Family Wife, Maggie; Children, sons Billy and Jake, daughter Miki
Recruiting Areas Bakersfield, Fresno, Bradenton/Naples/Ft. Myers, FL