Weeks after losing Demarco Murray to his Alma Mater Oklahoma, the Arizona Football team has found their replacement with AJ Steward.
College Football is a tough business, and lately it’s been especially tough for the Arizona Football team as they have had to replace numerous assistants, with the latest hiring being, AJ Steward.
For those in need of a refresher, running back coach Demarco Murray announced he was leaving the program. Certainly hard to fault him, since Murray is still relatively new to coaching, and his Alma Mater offered him a spot on their staff.
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Luckily, the Wildcats moved pretty quickly in finding a replacement to Murray, and by all accounts, Steward seems to be a good one as the school made the hire official on Friday!
A graduate and former collegiate player at Kansas, Steward began his coaching career in 2012, and has since been steadily climbing the ranks.
First serving as a graduate assistant at Rice University from 2012-13, he then became the running backs coach for the Owls from 2014-17, before spending the last two seasons in Provo, UT with the Brigham Young Cougars.
Over his career, Steward has had quite a few career achievements and according to BYU’s website, here were a few things he was able to accomplish;
- Helping Rice rank No. 2 in Conference USA and No. 38 nationally, as the Owls averaged 187.0 yards per game
- From 2013-16, Owl running backs Darik Dillard and Jowan Davis finished No. 7 and No. 8 career rushing yards at Rice, respectively, as Dillard and Davis combined for 4,226 yards and 36 touchdowns in their career working with Steward.
- In 2015, Steward had four running backs eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark in different games for the first time in school history
- Steward even helped running backs Samuel Stewart and Austin Walter as they were both named to the C-USA All-Freshman team in 2015
While his accomplishments surely speak for themselves, and he will have some good talent to work with, especially as the Wildcats return guys like; Gary Brightwell, Bam Smith, Nathan Tilford, Michael Wiley and also bring in talented running backs Frank Brown and Jalen John!
The biggest question will be what kind of recruiting presence he can bring to the Cats, but either way this looks like a solid hire and we’re excited to see AJ come to Tucson! As always, Bear Down, Arizona!