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Monday, February 28, 2011
Staff changes: Arizona

By staff

Considering only Oregon and Washington didn't experience any staff turnover, it seems reasonable to take a look at the staff changes in the Pac-12 this offseason, starting with Arizona.

Arizona had plenty of movement in and out, starting with one half of the coordinator tandems it used on both sides of the ball in 2010.

Team in parenthesis is where the departing coach ended up.

Bill Bedenbaugh, co-offensive coordinator (West Virginia)

Robert Anae, offensive line (Seth Littrell moves up from co-offensive coordinator to offensive coordinator)

Greg Brown, co-defensive coordinator/secondary (Colorado)
Duane Akina, secondary (Texas -- Akina was hired away from Texas for a few weeks to replace Brown before deciding to return to Texas).

Ryan Walters, secondary (Walters' promotion from defensive GA has not been officially announced but has been reported by the Tucson Citizen)

Mike Tuiasosopo, defensive line (Colorado)

Joe Salave'a, defensive line

Reaction: This is a lot of turnover, but one of the payoffs of having co-coordinators means losing one doesn't force you to change your scheme going forward. Littrell was the playcaller in 2010, so losing Bedenbaugh shouldn't cause too much of a shake-up. More than a few folks think Anae's tough-guy ways will help a rebuilding line discover its mojo.  Walters started 33 games at Colorado at safety -- all under Brown -- so his familiarity with the scheme should be high, not to mention that's also head coach Mike Stoops' prime area of interest. Still, it's pretty deflating to go from a highly respected veteran like Akina, who was hired away from a marquee program and has deep Arizona roots, to a rookie coach. Tuiasosopo was a good coach and recruiter -- he will be missed -- but Salave'a has plenty of NFL cred that players will respect. It will be interesting to see how this all meshes together this spring.