The images of Arizona Wildcats coach Mike Stoops will forever be of him on the sideline, screaming, shaking, stomping, contorted, cursing, out of control.
There really won’t be a whole lot of love lost for Stoops, who was fired Monday midway through his eighth season at Arizona, finishing with a 41-50 record. The timing of the decision might have been shocking, but the decision wasn’t.
The program wasn’t in position to move forward with Stoops at the helm.
Athletic director Greg Byrne knew it. He acted. Why wait?
“I felt we need a fresh start,” he said.
The end was excruciating.
Ten consecutive losses to Football Bowl Subdivision teams. Slow starts in every game. A failure to even compete against elite teams. Special teams play that goes straight to the next Football Follies DVD. The same old sideline tantrums that neither served a positive purpose nor was the reflection of the program that Byrne wanted to send.
Bottom line: Stoops can’t say his firing was undeserved or that he didn’t have enough time.