Arizona is set to hire Dino Babers, the former eight-year head coach at Syracuse, as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, per Troy Hutchison of Rivals. Before his time with the Orange, the longest he stayed with any one school was with Arizona from 1995-2000, where he focused exclusively on coaching the offensive side of the ball. Babers coached Arizona's wide receivers from 1995-96 and the running backs in 1997 before taking up the helm as both offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach — sound familiar? — for three seasons from 1998-2000.
The Syracuse teams that he has led made three bowl games, but he was fired ahead of last season's matchup, so do with that what you will. His best season was in 2018 when he led the No. 17 Orange to a 9-3 regular season record and a 34-18 win over No. 15 West Virginia in the camping world bowl.
Not only was Akina — a target for Brennan since the jump — retained, but he was promoted. Akina was a senior defensive analyst for the 2023 season before reportedly following Johnny Nansen to Texas. However, he appeared on the court during the now-famous "Unfinished Business" announcement and has confirmed a return on Twitter.
Despite murmurs of concern surrounding his age, Akina is already taking to social media to start recruiting players and has quickly become one of the loudest voices on the coaching staff in the best way. His retention also helps keep the "Poly Pipeline", as it's been affectionately called, open. Akina spent 14 years working under Dick Tomey and, despite his complexion, is a Honolulu native and has deep-rooted ties to the Polynesian community.
Gonzales has been named Arizona's special teams coordinator and linebackers coach, first reported by ESPN's Pete Thamel. Gonzales is coming off a recent firing from his post as the head coach at New Mexico — his alma mater — following the conclusion of a fourth straight losing season. Though he hasn't held a special teams coordinating position since his 2006-08 tenure at New Mexico, he was also a punter in college and should still be familiar with the intricacies of the kicking game.
He's best known to Arizona fans as being the defensive coordinator for Arizona State under Herm Edwards from 2018-19 who heavily embraced the competition of the Territorial Cup and how much it means to both teams. He becomes the second former Arizona State coach to join the Arizona staff, following Arizona wide receiver alum Bobby Wade.