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Arizona hires San Jose State's Brent Brennan to replace Jedd Fisch

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Brent Brennan of the San Jose State Spartans looks on in the first half of a game against the UNLV Rebels at Allegiant Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images)
New Arizona coach Brent Brennan led San Jose State to bowl games in three of the last four seasons. (Photo by Louis Grasse/Getty Images) (Louis Grasse via Getty Images)

Arizona moved quickly to secure Jedd Fisch’s replacement.

The Wildcats announced Tuesday afternoon that they're hiring San Jose State coach Brent Brennan as their new head coach. Brennan, a former Arizona graduate assistant, has been San Jose State’s coach for the past seven seasons.

Fisch was hired as Washington’s head coach on Sunday after Kalen DeBoer became Nick Saban’s replacement at Alabama. Arizona went 10-3 in 2023 after winning its final seven games of the season. The Wildcats secured their first 10-win season since 2014 with a win over Oklahoma in the Alamo Bowl.

Brennan’s San Jose State team also closed the 2023 season on a win streak. SJSU started the season 1-5 before winning its final six games of the regular season. The win streak pushed the Spartans into a three-way tie for the Mountain West title, but SJSU lost out on a computer tiebreaker to both UNLV and Boise State and didn’t play in the conference title game.

It was the third winning season in four years for San Jose State. The Spartans won just three games combined in Brennan’s first two seasons before making a leap to 5-7 in 2019. SJSU went 7-0 in 2020 before losing the Arizona Bowl to end the season. The three bowl appearances San Jose State has made from 2020-23 are as many as the school had from 1991-2019. Brennan's career record with the school is 34-48.

Brennan, 50, played wide receiver at UCLA and got his coaching start in college football as an assistant at Hawaii. He spent a season as a grad assistant at Arizona in 2000 before a stint at Cal Poly. Brennan worked as an assistant at San Jose State from 2005-10 before six seasons at Oregon State ahead of his hire as the Spartans’ head coach.

At Arizona, Brennan will be tasked with leading the Wildcats as they move into the Big 12. Arizona was No. 11 in the final AP Top 25 of the season after beating Oklahoma as the program made massive improvements in three years under Fisch. The Wildcats went 1-11 in Fisch’s first season in 2021 after an 0-5 season in 2020 under Kevin Sumlin.