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Former Arizona safety standout Chuck Cecil, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee, could be on Rich Rodriguez’s list to fill the vacant defensive coordinator position.
Those who know Chuck Cecil knows he is very private and not one to be consumed about being in the public eye. His persona is 180 degrees from the demonstrative tackler he was during his Arizona and NFL days.
Amid the news of Rich Rodriguez looking for a new defensive coordinator at Arizona, Cecil’s name has surfaced as a possibility but he has not openly campaigned for the position. In fact, he has devoted time to his family this week, attending the funeral of his grandmother in Idaho.
If Cecil has contacted Rodriguez about the defensive coordinator position, it has been through his agent, a well-placed source said, because Cecil wanted to devote time to his family this week.
Cecil, 51, is currently the St. Louis Rams’ senior defensive assistant in charge of coaching the secondary. St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher recently extended Cecil’s contract with the Rams, but according to the source, that does not mean Cecil is not looking at another coaching possibility.
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USC coach Clay Helton has contacted Cecil about becoming the co-defensive coordinator in charge of the secondary, according to a source. Cecil is uncertain about that move because of USC’s rivalry with Arizona in the Pac-12.
The perfect situation in Cecil’s eyes would be a return to Arizona in at least the defensive coordinator position, but time will tell if he may have to wait until down the road if Rodriguez were to leave the program or if Rodriguez welcomes him back to the Wildcat family.
In Cecil’s favor for a return to Tucson and the university: He is one of the most popular players to wear the Wildcat uniform and today’s generation of players know about him because of his past as a fierce tackler. He would be an asset to Arizona in recruiting on many fronts: His NFL coaching background and the fact that he can tell parents he knows all about player development as a 145-pound walk-on who became an academic All-American and an NFL safety.
Boosters love him and would give money to the program in his name.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne and the school’s administrators would like the fact of Cecil’s high academic standards with his ability to earn his degree with honors at the school.