Charlie Ragle’s alarm clock read 4:30 a.m. The Arizona Wildcats’ first spring practice of 2013 was more than four hours away, but Ragle was wide awake, counting down the minutes until practice time.
“I felt like a 9-year-old on Christmas morning,” Ragle said. “I really did.”
The Wildcats’ first-year tight ends coach and special teams coordinator had been waiting more than a year for this practice.
The former Scottsdale Chaparral coach, who led the Firebirds to three straight state championships, was hired by Rich Rodriguez before the 2012 season as the Wildcats’ assistant director of operations. The opportunity to work with Rodriguez and in the Pac-12 was something he couldn’t pass up.
But there was a catch.
In his role, Ragle wasn’t allowed to coach on the field. He could help in meeting rooms and assist in recruiting, but he wasn’t allowed to teach Xs and Os on the practice field.
That changed the night the Wildcats beat Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl. Rodriguez met with Ragle after the win and told him he wanted to promote him to a full-time coach and assign him a position group to coach.
Read more about the Wildcats' new assistant coach in Wednesday's Arizona Daily Star