Report: Arizona fires DC Yates, promotes Cecil

Field Level Media

October 28, 2019 at 4:26 am.

The Arizona Wildcats, whose defense ranks last in the Pac-12, fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing on Sunday, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin promoted Chuck Cecil from a defensive analyst position to take over as coordinator for the final four games of the regular season.

Cecil, 54, is a former Arizona player and NFL safety who was a 15-year NFL assistant for Jeff Fischer with the Tennessee Titans and St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, until the staff was fired after the 2016 season. The College Football Hall of Famer was the defensive coordinator for the Titans in 2009 and 2010.

Yates, who also coached safeties, was in his fourth season at Arizona, originally hired by coach Rich Rodriguez but retained by Sumlin after the 2017 season. Yates had worked with Sumlin at Texas A&M.

The Wildcats (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) rank 118th nationally and last in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 35.0 points per game. They are 119th in the country in total defense (469.9 yards per game) and have yielded at least 41 points in three consecutive games.

Rushing was in his second season at Arizona. Sumlin promoted former Arizona linebacker Hank Hobson from analyst to an on-field role to replace Rushing.