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Monday November 27, 2000

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Who's next?

Tomey's successor will have to be creative, dynamic

In the wake of Dick Tomey's resignation following Arizona's 30-17 loss to Arizona State at Arizona Stadium Friday night, the UA athletic department will start pursuing a replacement for the head coach. The following people are speculated to be connected to the now-vacant Wildcats head coaching job:

* Steve Axman, assistant head coach, Washington.

Axman, UA's offensive coordinator from 1980-84, is an offensively-minded play caller whose Northern Arizona teams were among the country's top passing schools from 1990-97. His 1996 Lumberjack team tied or broke 14 national records for offensive accomplishments.

Currently one of Rick Neuheisel's top assistants, Axman, 51, may be anxious to become a head coach after three years as an assistant at both UW and Minnesota.

Axman's offensive style would quiet criticism that Arizona's play-calling has become too conservative. In his years as an assistant coach, Axman has trained quarterbacks Troy Aikman, Neil O'Donnell and Marques Tuiasosopo. Could Tennessee transfer John Rattay be next?

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