Now in his second season at the helm of the Wildcat program, Rich Rodriguez was introduced as the 30th head coach of the University of Arizona football team on Nov. 22, 2011, ending a stint as a sports television commentator to return to an 18-year head coaching career.
Entering the 2013 season, Rodriguez carries a career college coaching record of 128-89-2 in 19 seasons, marked by Division I records of 60-26 at West Virginia, 15-22 at Michigan and 8-5 with the Wildcats. He began his head coaching career at Salem (W.Va.) University in 1988 and then coached at Glenville State (W.Va.) from 1990-96.
The 2012 season proved successful for Arizona in Rodriguez's spread-offense, no-huddle system. Running back Ka'Deem Carey led the nation in total rushing yards (1,929) and yards per game (148.38) while rewriting the Arizona record book. For his efforts, Carey was named first-team All-Pac-12 and a consensus All-American, UA's first on the offensive side of the ball.
Rodriguez inherited a fifth-year senior in quarterback Matt Scott who was perfectly suited to run the Wildcat offense. With Scott as signal caller, Arizona was 7-5 as he orchestrated come-from-behind wins against No. 10 USC and Nevada in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors, Scott led the conference in yards per game with 301.7 and ranked No. 2 in the league in total yardage.
Austin Hill totaled 81 catches for 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns to lead the Wildcat receivers in 2012. He was named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, second-team All-Pac-12 and fourth-team All-America by Phil Steele. He ranked No. 2 in the Pac-12 in total receiving yards and yards per game (104.9).
UA lead the Pac-12 in total offense for four-straight weeks (weeks 6-9) and ranked as high as fourth nationally in weeks three, seven and nine. Arizona's offensive triple-threat attack featured a 3,000-yard passer (Scott - 3,620 yards), a 1,500-yard rusher (Carey - 1,929 yards) and a 1,000-yard receiver (Hill - 1,364 yards).
In defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel's 3-3-5 defense, Arizona was led by linebacker Jake Fischer, an All-Pac-12 honorable mention and CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. Fischer ranked third in the Pac-12 in total tackles with 76 and 9.2 per game. Cornerback Shaquille Richardson ranked fourth in the league and No. 16 nationally in passes broken up with 14. Safety Jared Tevis also earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention nods.
Rodriguez served as a football analyst for CBS Sports during the 2011 season. Previously, Rodriguez was head coach at Michigan from 2008 to 2010 and made a Division I statement as head coach at West Virginia from 2001-07 where he compiled a 60-26 record and won four Big East Conference titles.
Rodriguez's West Virginia teams were Big East Champions in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007 while appearing in two BCS bowls, the 2005 Sugar Bowl with a victory over Georgia for an 11-1 record and a victory over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl to finish 10-2 shortly after Rodriguez had left for Michigan. His 2006 club finished 11-2 after a victory over Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl. He also coached the Mountaineers to the 2002 Continental Tire Bowl and the 2003 and 2004 Gator Bowl.
While at Salem, he was a secondary coach and special teams coordinator in 1986 and assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 1987. He was the youngest head coach in college football when appointed by Salem in 1988 at age 24. The school disbanded its football program the next year and he served as a volunteer assistant at West Virginia working with outside linebackers in 1989.
Prior to accepting the West Virginia job in late November 2000, Rodriguez served as offensive coordinator and associate head coach for Tommy Bowden at Clemson in 1999 and 2000, with the Tigers recording a 15-9 record in two seasons. He was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bowden at Tulane for two years prior to that, 1997-98, where he helped lead the Green Wave to a 19-4 mark, including an undefeated 12-0 season with the Conference USA Champs and Liberty Bowl victors in 1998.
At Glenville State, his teams won or shared four-consecutive West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference titles and he was named WVIAC Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994, as well as the NAIA Coach of the Year after leading his team to a national runner-up finish. He also was recognized by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association as the state College Coach of the Year for all sports in 1993. He led the Pioneers to the national playoffs twice and posted a 43-28-2 record. He also served as Glenville's AD in 1995-96 and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rodriguez graduated from West Virginia in 1986, where he started as a walk-on in 1981 and became a three-year letterwinner as a defensive back from 1982-84. He added a master's degree from Salem in 1987. He is a native of Grant Town, W. Va., and graduated from North Marion High School. Rich and his wife, Rita, have two children, Raquel and Rhett.
Rodriguez's Coaching History
Arizona, head coach (8-5)
Michigan, head coach (15-22)
West Virginia, head coach (60-26)
Clemson, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Tulane, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Glenville State, head coach (43-28-2)
West Virginia, volunteer assistant
Salem University, head coach (2-8)
Salem University, assistant head coach/defensive coordinator