Originally posted by NMCard
Just heard on the local news here that UofA is interested in Coach Rocky Long of UNM. I know he has alot of experience in the pac 10 but I hope this is just a rumor and is not true.
Doesn't appear as though Long got an interview:
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
Coaching interviews conclude as Hankwitz visits committee
By Charles Durrenberger
ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Arizona defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz hopes his home-field advantage aids his goal of changing the interim tag to permanent head coach of the Wildcats.
Hankwitz, a 33-year coaching veteran who has never been a head coach, interviewed with UA search committee members Monday, four days before the Cats' regular-season finale at ASU.
"No matter what happens, I think I can sleep soundly feeling that I helped make things better," Hankwitz said. "I'd like a chance to make them better permanently."
Appointed Arizona's interim coach when John Mackovic was fired Sept. 28, Hankwitz is one of five finalists identified by the school.
The others are Oklahoma associate head coach and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, Cincinnati Bengals assistant coach and former Wildcat All-American Ricky Hunley, New York Giants defensive coordinator and ex-UA assistant Johnnie Lynn, and Southern California offensive coordinator
The other finalists interviewed over the weekend, with Stoops talking to UA representatives a second time.
Hankwitz was reticent to discuss details or the length of Monday's interview with UA president Peter Likins, athletic director Jim Livengood, search committee chairperson Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose and others.
LaRose said Monday that she expects the search committee to be "finishing up and moving forward" today.
"We had a great weekend, and we talked to some really quality guys," she said. "The process is continuing."
Hankwitz - a former UA assistant coach from 1973 to '76 under Jim Young - said he was grateful to the committee for a chance to present his vision for Arizona football.
"I think we kept fighting, and particularly if we win this game, then I'll feel much better about what we accomplished," Hankwitz said. "… I feel like I can hold my head up and feel like we worked our butts off. I think we got better and that the program is in better shape than when I took over."
Despite his 1-5 record, UA players say Hankwitz has instilled discipline and made the game fun again.
"This team needs a disciplinarian, like coach 'Hank,' " sophomore safety Darrell Brooks said. "… He definitely sticks to his morals and what he believes, and guys respect that."
Added junior center Keoki Fraser: "It definitely took a man of great character to come in under the circumstances he did."
As eager as the Wildcats are to learn who their new coach will be, they believe it could be a huge distraction if an announcement is made this week amid preparations for ASU.
"I don't think that's fair to these coaches right here," said redshirt-freshman quarterback Ryan O'Hara. "Just let us finish out the season, then handle the moves for next season."
On the other hand, senior guard Reggie Sampay indicated naming a coach right away would end some distractions.
"I think the players would have some type of closure on who would be their coach for next year," Sampay said.
Arizona's is one of eight coaching vacancies at the Division I-A level. One more opened Monday when Idaho dismissed Tom Cable.
The others are at Akron, Army, Central Florida, Duke, Eastern Michigan and Mississippi State.
Chow is also considered a finalist at Duke. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Chow met with UA officials Sunday at a Los Angeles International Airport-area hotel for a little over an hour.
"I don't know," Chow told the newspaper when asked if he would accept an offer to coach Arizona. "I have no idea."
Arizona officials flew to the New York area to visit with Lynn, a six-year UA assistant under Dick Tomey from 1988 to '93.
Lynn told Giants beat reporters late last week that he is excited about the chance to return to the college game.
"It's still coaching," Lynn said. "When you get high school kids who become college kids, it's a big transition. They're going away from home. A college coach can have a great impact on them."