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Monday, February 28, 2011
Arizona taps Walters as secondary coach

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

If you think Arizona's new secondary coach looks like he could still play when you see him this spring, it's because he could. And probably play well.

Ryan Walters, 25, has been promoted from graduate assistant to Wildcats secondary coach, the school announced Monday, making him the second youngest assistant in the Pac-12.

[Edit note: Utah QB coach Brian Johnson was born on Feb. 16, 1987, while Walters was born on Jan. 21, 1986].

Walters was Colorado's team captain in 2008. He joined the Wildcats last August, and now will replace Greg Brown, who left Tucson for Colorado this offseason. Brown as Walters' position coach at Colorado, where he started 33 games and played in 46.

"After exploring our options I felt Ryan is the best fit at this time for our team," coach Mike Stoops said in a statement. "He brings a youthful energy to the staff and solid knowledge of our system. We're able to continue preparations for spring ball immediately."

Walters is getting this opportunity because Duane Akina opted to return to Texas after just a few weeks in Tucson.

"Obviously I'm more than excited about getting this job and opportunity and the fact coach Stoops has the confidence to hire me," Walters said in the statement. "I have a lot to prove and his is a great situation for that... We have a great group of players in the secondary, a good mix of veterans and young talent. I'll be working tirelessly to get the job done the way it's supposed to get done."

Walters earned honorable mention All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press his senior year. He also was picked by his teammates as the club's most valuable player, and the CU coaching staff gave him the Hang Tough Award for overcoming adversity.

A native of Los Angeles, Walters prepped at Grandview High School in Aurora, Colo., as a three-year starting quarterback. His father, Marc, played quarterback for Colorado from 1986-89. He earned his degree in history from CU in December 2008, with a minor in atmospheric science.