Arizona football: New line coach excited by spread offense

2013-01-20T00:00:00Z Arizona football: New line coach excited by spread offenseDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Jim Michalczik has been intrigued by Rich Rodriguez's spread-option offense for years.

Seven, to be exact.

In 2006, Michalczik, who was named the Arizona Wildcats' offensive line coach this week, traveled to the University of West Virginia for four days.

Michalczik, Cal's offensive coordinator at the time, wanted to see how Rodriguez and his staff coached the spread and to see if it could be effective in Berkeley.

He has experimented with Rodriguez's offense since then, always fascinated with it, but was never able to fully get into it.

Now that he's with the inventor himself, that will change.

"I'm really looking forward to expanding and getting into" the spread, Michalczik said. "At times, we've dabbled and didn't go full-speed. I'm looking forward to getting full into it now."

Michalczik comes to Tucson with 23 years of coaching experience between college and the NFL. He has sent a dozen offensive linemen from Cal to the pro ranks.

He wasn't retained by new coach Sonny Dykes after former head coach Jeff Tedford was fired. Michalczik was scooped up by Rodriguez.

The Star chatted with Michalczik this week about his new job at Arizona. Here's what he said:

Have you had a chance to meet some of the offensive linemen yet?

A: "I've met a couple of them. They seem like good guys. We're still in that meeting stage. It's going to be a learning process as they get to know me. We all start new, and that's a fun thing."

Are you familiar with the personnel on the line at all?

A: "We didn't play each other last year, but we crossed over, playing the same teams, so I watched a lot of Arizona film as we were getting ready for other teams. You can see the way guys played and the way they competed. It's fun to see the energy and competitiveness this group played with last year.

"I'll go back and look at practice film. But, I'm a big believer in every year is a new year. "

What were some of the things that attracted you to this position?

A: "Coach Rodriguez, obviously, first. The person, the football coach, the success he's had everywhere he's gone, the way he does things. I'm a fan. I'm a fan of his, and I'm excited to be part of his staff.

I got to know (Rodriguez) pretty well. He is good friends with my former boss, Jeff Tedford, so there's that connection."

How nice is it to have a running back like Ka'Deem Carey on the offense?

A: "Anytime you have a guy like him, it makes you a better line coach. I haven't met him yet. I'm just trying to meet the players now. There's a double-edge sword to that. You want to get to know them. You want to get to know them as people more than football players because in my mind, football players all start fresh."

This is the fifth Pac-12 school you've been associated with. How did you get so tied to the conference?

A: "I have been very fortunate. I've been with some good coaches and good people. I'm from out West. I've been very fortunate to stay out West. It's nice, because you get to know the conference very well. Not just the coaches, but the defenses and everything else that goes with it."

Michalczik file

A look at new offensive line coach Jim Michalczik's route to Arizona.

Years Role School

1985-88 Player Washington State

1990-91 Defensive line coach Miami (Fla.)

1992-98 Offensive line coach Montana State

1999-2001 ST coordinator/TEs coach/assistant OL coach Oregon State

2002-08 OL coach Cal

2009-10 OL coach Oakland Raiders

2011-12 Offensive coordinator/OL coach Cal

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