Arizona coach Jedd Fisch on spring football, the Wildcats’ QB room, recruiting, NIL

Jedd Fisch’s golf game isn’t on par with his recruiting prowess. Not even close.

But the second-year Arizona football coach is nothing if not optimistic. So even after hitting a wayward tee shot on the 10th hole of the Cologuard Classic pro-am at Omni Tucson National Resort on Wednesday, Fisch could see the bright side

He pointed to the score for his group. Fisch’s fivesome — which also featured UA athletic director Dave Heeke; school president Robert C. Robbins; businessman and UA donor Cole Davis; and PGA Tour Champions pro Scott Verplank — played the front nine at 7 under par. They would finish at 10 under, one of the better scores of the day, with Fisch contributing a pair of net birdies on the back nine.

Fisch doesn’t have much time to play golf. He said Wednesday’s round was his second since June. He has a family to raise and a football team to run. Twice-weekly tennis matches, lasting about an hour apiece, are much easier to squeeze in during the offseason.

In the meantime, Fisch enjoyed his time on the course. His competitiveness showed when he failed to execute shots, but he didn’t take much of it seriously. When it was pointed that the wind didn’t help him avoid a greenside bunker on No. 17, Fisch retorted: “My inability to do anything with the ball didn’t help either.”

After the round ended about 20 minutes later, Fisch spoke to the Star about his area of expertise — football. Topics included Arizona’s new batch of players, recruiting and the impact of NIL (name, image and likeness) on the sport. The conversation has been lightly edited.

You’ve had only limited interactions with them, but what are your initial impressions of the new group of players?

A: “What we do get to do is watch them run around and see their athleticism. I always invite them up to my office, spend some time, talk with them a little bit. The new guys are embracing being an Arizona Wildcat, whether they came from another school or whether they came from high school. They have a great energy about them, a great confidence about them.

“And the best thing about them is, they don’t see what happened in the past. They don’t really worry about what happened in the past. They’re really excited about moving forward with this team.”

We know you can’t name names, but you got a commitment from a four-star quarterback Tuesday. Why is it important to have a QB in every class?

Nate Brown

General Manager

Nate Brown is the General Manager of Zags Collective, leading the charge to help amplify the opportunities for the Gonzaga student-athletes through NIL partnerships with local charities, fans and businesses. With over a decade of experience in the professional sports industry and as a former business owner in Spokane, Nate is a seasoned professional who knows what it takes to succeed. Most recently, he served as the National Sales Director for a prominent west-coast real estate company, where he was responsible for driving growth and retention. With a deep understanding of sales and marketing, Nate brings a wealth of knowledge to the table and is always seeking innovative ways to drive revenue and create partnerships.With a passion for ensuring the success of student-athletes both on and off the field, Nate is dedicated to providing the necessary resources to keep Gonzaga competitive on the national stage. He understands the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with the community and local businesses, and works to maximize opportunities for Gonzaga’s student-athletes. As the son of two Gonzaga alumni, including a father who was a baseball pitcher and also a coach for the school, Nate has a great connection to the university and a passion for ensuring its continued success. Outside of work, Nate enjoys spending time with family, including his wife Jessica and their 16-year-old daughter Brooklynn and 12-year-old son Marcus. When not working or spending time with family, you can find Nate at any one of the amazing golf courses in Spokane, honing his swing!

Mike Smith

General Manager

Mike Smith joined Micconope 1851 in March 2023 and is excited to be the General Manager and looks forward to working with Blueprint Sports increase NIL revenue generation for Florida State University student-athletes. Smith comes to Micconope 1851 from Catawba College where he held the title as the Senior Director of Athletics, Development. Prior to working in Athletics at Catawba College, Mike served as the Associate Athletics Director for External Relations at Charleston Southern University. Smith has an impressive background in the collegiate athletics industry, having held senior level development and corporate sponsorship sales roles at The University of Southern Mississippi, Limestone University, the Sun Belt Conference, Florida Atlantic University, and with multimedia rights-holders Tele South Communications at the University of Mississippi, Learfield Sports at UNC Chapel Hill, and with International Sports Properties at Georgia Tech. Smith is a graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and holds a master’s degree in Business Management from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In his new role here at Micconppe 1851, Smith will be responsible for raising major gifts for NIL deals as well as securing NIL corporate sponsorships for Florida State University student-athletes. Mike looks forward to helping ensure the FSU student-athletes have the resources and leadership opportunities to remain competitive nationally and positioned for success well beyond graduation. Mike is married to Katy Smith; the couple looks forward to relocating to Tallahassee, Florida, and becoming a part of the Micconope 1851 and Seminole family!

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