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Arizona fires defensive coordinator Marcel Yates

Arizona has fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach Jon Rushing one day after a 41-31 loss to Stanford.

Veteran coach Chuck Cecil has been promoted from his analyst position to take over the defense. Additionally, analyst Hank Hobson has been promoted to the on-the-field staff.

A holdover from the Rich Rodriguez staff, Yates was in his fourth season as Arizona's defensive coordinator. He had worked with Wildcats head coach Kevin Sumlin previously at Texas A&M but, with a contract that expires in January, Sumlin elected to move on. Arizona presently ranks 99th in yards per play allowed and 118th in scoring. The Wildcats never ranked higher than 98th in scoring in Yates's four seasons running the defense.

Cecil was a College Football Hall of Fame linebacker for Arizona before forging a multi-decade NFL career as a player and a coach. Cecil started coaching for the Tennessee Titans in 2001 as a quality control and eventually rose to become the club's defensive coordinator in 2009-10. He last coached as the Rams' defensive backs coach from 2012-16.

Like Cecil, Hobson also played linebacker at Arizona. He has been on staff since 2015 as a graduate assistant and analyst.

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