Boise State Football

Arizona fires football coach Rodriguez; ex-Boise State player takes over as interim

Boise State football defensive coordinator Marcel Yates smiles as he answers a question from the media during a pre-Fiesta Bowl press conference on Dec. 28, 2014.
Boise State football defensive coordinator Marcel Yates smiles as he answers a question from the media during a pre-Fiesta Bowl press conference on Dec. 28, 2014. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

A week following the Arizona football team’s loss in the Foster Farms Bowl, coach Rich Rodriguez was fired Tuesday night as a sexual harassment allegation was made by a former school employee.

Rodriguez denied the claims in a statement Tuesday night, but admitted to an extramarital affair with someone outside the university. He also noted the former school employee threatened a $7.5 million lawsuit against him. The school said in a statement there was reason “both before and during the investigation, which caused it to be concerned with the direction and climate of the football program.”

Following the move, Arizona announced that defensive coordinator Marcel Yates would take over as the interim coach. Some players already were stumping for him to get the job permanently.

Yates played for Boise State from 1996 to 1999 and served as an assistant from 2003 to 2011 and again in 2014 and 2015 as defensive coordinator. He left to take the job with the Wildcats in January 2016, and did so with business debts plaguing him.

Arizona went 7-6 this past season, Rodriguez’s sixth with the team. Boise State beat Arizona in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl.

With Yates at the helm, even should it remain an interim basis, that makes four Pac-12 schools led by former Boise State coaches (Washington, Oregon State, Cal and Arizona).

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