Nine-year NFL veteran and former Wildcat all-Pac-10 tackle Joe Salave'a has been hired to join Mike Stoops' University of Arizona coaching staff as defensive line coach.
Salave'a, 35, lettered at Arizona as a defense tackle from 1994-97, serving as team captain in 1996. He earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors in 1995, second-team honors in 1996 and was a first-team selection in 1997.
Salave'a has been out of coaching and football for the past year, living in Las Vegas, but most recently was defensive line coach for Dick Tomey at San Jose State in 2008 and 2009. He takes over for seven-year Stoops' defensive line assistant Mike Tuiasosopo, who along with secondary coach and co-defensive coordinator Greg Brown have left UA's program, soon to be announced assuming posts on another Pac-12 staff.
"I'm really excited to have him join the staff," Stoops said. "He fits what we're doing very well. He has a solid history and comes highly recommended. Joe built a legacy here and in the NFL that will have an immediate impact on our players and in recruiting," he said.
"I'm humbled but also excited," Salave'a said. "I'm eager to get there, roll up my sleeves and get to work. You go to a program like the University of Arizona, play some ball and get a degree... and now I have a chance to pay it forward. It's a great opportunity and I'm thrilled that Coach Stoops has the confidence in me to make this happen," Salave'a said.
Stoops said his 2011 staff won't be complete until sometime in January. Salave'a will start Monday and help prepare the Wildcats for their Dec. 29 appearance in the Valero Alamo Bowl, but Stoops still has to fill Brown's vacancy in coaching the secondary, which Stoops will help do for the bowl season. http://www.arizonawildcats.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/121610aab.html