Even before the end of their regular season, the New England Patriots already experienced the first departure from their 2020 coaching staff. As was reported on Wednesday and since officially confirmed by the school, the University of Arizona has hired Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch to take over as its new head coach.
The Wildcats’ press release about the hire also included a statement from Bill Belichick, Fisch’s former boss in New England. Belichick sang Fisch’s praises, calling him “one of the most outstanding coaches I have worked with”:
Jedd Fisch is one of the most outstanding coaches I have worked with and was an excellent addition to our staff this year. Jedd has gained a wealth of experience in numerous organizations, in college and the NFL, and is ready to lead the Arizona program. Although we will miss his contributions here, we wish Jedd and Amber well at the University of Arizona, home to two of the greatest Patriots, Tedy Bruschi and Rob Gronkowski, as well as our current Wildcats, Nick Folk and J.J. Taylor.
Fisch arrived in New England earlier this year, and it was later announced that he would take over as the team’s new quarterbacks coach — a title that was held by offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels for the previous eight seasons. While the position struggled statistically in Year One after Tom Brady by combining to complete 64.7 percent of its pass attempts so far this year for 2,723 yards, 7 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Fisch still caught Arizona’s eye.
Now, the 44-year-old will therefore get an opportunity for his first head coaching position. In his own arrival statement, he said that he would be “honored and humbled” to get the opportunity:
I am honored and humbled to lead the University of Arizona football program. I am 100% committed to building a program that all Wildcat fans will be proud to support. We will study hard, compete hard, recruit hard and be relentless in all aspects of our program. I want to thank President Robbins and Dave Heeke for their belief in me and in my vision for Arizona Football and my family and I cannot wait to immerse ourselves in the UA and Tucson communities.
With Fisch gone, the Patriots’ search for a replacement will soon begin. That replacement — whether it is an internal or external hire — will work with a position filled with uncertainty. Not only have New England’s quarterbacks played some disappointing football this year, two of them are also headed for free agency: with neither Cam Newton nor Brian Hoyer a lock to return, Jarrett Stidham is the only passer under contract beyond 2020.