Arizona Daily Wildcat :: Michalczik 'fired up' to join Wildcats football staff

Jim Michalczik knows the Pac-12.

He played for head coach Dennis Erickson at Washington State in 1987-88, came back to coach for Erickson at Oregon State for three years in 1999-2001 and spent nine of the last 11 years as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator on Jeff Tedfordís coaching staff at California.

Now, with Robert Anaeís departure to BYU, Michalczik will stay in the conference as the offensive line coach on Rich Rodriguezís Arizona staff.

Michalczik met with the media on Thursday morning, and hereís what he had to say.

DW: How does it feel to be in Tucson and Arizonaís offensive line coach?

Michalczik: Iím fired up. Iím really fired up. Iím excited, great staff, great place. Fired up to get my family here and just looking forward to it.

What do you make of [running back] KaíDeem Carey and putting an offensive line together thatís going to block for him?

Any time youíve got a guy like that it makes you a little better line coach. I havenít had a chance to meet him yet, but Iím looking forward to meeting him.

Describe your coaching style.

Thatís a tough one. Iíve been fortunate that Iíve had some really good football players that Iíve coached. I think Iím, in a lot of ways, a teacher, and a lot of ways a mentor and a lot of ways a personal trainer. Ö I like to think they made themselves great players, but I like to think I showed them the way.

What was your relationship with Rich Rodriguez before getting hired?

We visited them at West Virginia way back in 2006. Went back there and spent 3-4 days and got to know him and a bunch of the guys on the staff. Then he came up to Cal in his year off [after being fired at Michigan] and got to spend a little bit of time and Iíve just gotten to know him a little bit. He was good friends with my former boss, Jeff Tedford.

How much did you know about Tucson before beind hired?

A lot from being in the Pac-10, Pac-12 for a lot of years. My father lives in the Phoenix area so Iíve known a lot about it.

Iíve known people that have coached here before. Never heard a bad thing about Tucson. Anyone thatís ever been here has loved it.

Have you had a chance to meet any of the offensive lineman currently on the roster yet?

Iíve met a couple of them, seem like good guys. Iím still kind of in that meeting stage. I had a chance to kind of watch them run around a little bit this morning and work out and lift and do that stuff, but itís going to be a learning process. Theyíre going to want to get to know me. Probably wondering who the heck I am a little bit, probably calling friends that they know that know me.

In the same respect, weíre all starting new and thatís kind of a fun thing.

What attracted you to Arizona?

Rich Rodriguez. The person. The football coach. The success heís had everywhere heís been. The way he does things. Iím a fan. Iím a fan of his. Iím looking forward to being part of his staff.

Do you have any experience with Rodriguezís scheme?

Never gone fully into it. Kind of dabbled with it, like I said, in 2006, so Iím kind of looking forward to expanding and getting into some of it.

Did you get the chance beforehand to look at personnel and whoís back, or do you do that after youíre hired?

A little bit of both. We didnít play [Arizona] last year but we crossed over. I watched a lot of Arizona film; weíre getting ready for teams and weíd watch. You can see the way guys play and compete and itís fun to see the energy and competitiveness this group played with last year.

What have you enjoyed about coaching in the Pac-12?

Iíve been fortunate, been with some good coaches and good people.

Iím from out West, I have family here. Iíve been fortunate to stay out West. Itís nice because over time you get to know the conference pretty well, the defenses. And not just the players, but the coaches.

As an outsider at another Pac-12 school, what were your thoughts about what Arizonaís building, from the outside looking in?

I think coach Rodriguez is doing a great job of getting the players to buy into something, to believe in something. You can see it on film, you can see guys that play hard, play together.

They believe in what theyíre doing and that jumped out at you. Obviously youíre looking at scheme all the time, but you know when thereís some passion involved with the program.