A new era began, November 29th 2003, with the hiring of Mike Stoops. Mike comes from the #1 ranked college team in the nation, Oklahoma University. The Sooners defense was the most dominate defense in the country, and Mike was the co Defensive Coordinator there who helped his brother Bob rebuild it into what it is now. Mike Stoops vowed to rebuild the University of Arizona football program during his hiring conference.
Stoops will bring his style of defense to Arizona and will continue to use basically the same type of spread offense that the 'Cats run now. Mike even watched the Rivalry game against Tempe Tech (ASU) saying: "(UA) has a lot of talent, but we need to get it channeled into one direction. I was impressed with the players' ability to compete and hang in there."