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News
New Deal: Coordinator takes over playcalling


Photo
photo courtesy of arizona athletics
With the firing of head coach John Mackovic, UA offensive coordinator Mike Deal takes sole control of the Wildcat offensive attack.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 2, 2003

When the Arizona athletics department decided to relieve John Mackovic of his coaching duties, the team not only lost its head coach, but also its offensive play-caller.

Since he came to Tucson two and a half years ago, Mackovic had called all the plays for the Wildcat offense.

That job has now fallen on offensive coordinator Mike Deal but he will get help from all of the coaches in this task.

"I am going to rely on the offensive staff to put together a game plan and call the plays," interim head coach Mike Hankwitz said. "It is a joint effort. All of the coaches have input in the game plan."

Quarterbacks coach Jeff Hicklinski, running backs coach Jay Boulware, receivers coach Mose Rison and tight ends coach Charlie Dickey will all play a vital role in the game planning and gametime adjustments.

Hankwitz said he gets input from both the coaches on the field and in the press box on how the team should adjust.

"We have a great group of men, a very professional group, and I know they are going to pull together," Hankwitz said.

Deal said he doesn't expect his gameday duties to change too much except that he'll actually be the man calling the plays.

"I imagine things will be the same," sophomore quarterback Nic Costa said. "Obviously, they have their own philosophies and certain things they want to add into the offense."

Although every coach has his own ideas in play calling, Deal and Mackovic worked together in the past in both Texas ('95-'97) and Illinois ('89-'94) and will likely have similar styles of play calling.

"We aren't changing the entire offense. It's just certain things," Costa said. "Things we do well we may do more of or certain things we haven't done well, we probably won't do. We are still running the same type of offense, it's just how we do it and the types of plays might be a little different."

Deal came into his UA job with a great deal of experience.

Before taking the job at Arizona, Deal was the offensive coordinator for NFL Europe's Scottish Claymores for two years.

He has coached football at both the collegiate and professional level for more than 32 years, including stints at Vanderbilt, Texas, Illinois and Kansas State.

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