Fisch Announces Offensive Coaching Staff Hires
TUCSON, Ariz. – Head Coach Jedd Fisch has announced the addition of four offensive coaches to his Arizona Football coaching staff with Kevin Cummings, Jimmie Dougherty, Scottie Graham and Jordan Paopao. Cummings will be the Wildcats' Wide Receivers Coach, Dougherty will serve as Passing Game Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach, Graham will lead Arizona's running backs and Paopao will coach the Wildcats' tight ends.
Dougherty arrives in Tucson following four seasons at UCLA as Passing Game Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach. The Bruins' offense finished a top that Pac-12 in total offense in 2020 and second in scoring as a trio of UCLA offensive players earned second team all-conference honors.
"Jimmie and I have worked together at three different institutions, and he has always been a critical part of the offensive success that we have had," said Arizona Football Head Coach Jedd Fisch. "He is a tremendous person, teacher, coach, and mentor. Jimmie has always found ways to get the very best out of his players. As a former quarterback, coordinator and wide receivers coach, his experience and expertise will be critical to our success. I am thrilled to welcome Coach Dougherty and his family to Tucson."
Under his tutelage, Kyle Phillips set the school record for most catches by a freshman in 2019. Dougherty has now coached four difference UCLA receivers to top single-season marks in program history, including Phillips, Jordan Lasley, Theo Howard and Darren Andrews. UCLA's receiving corps established a new school record for most passing yards in a season at 4,478 in 2017.
"My family and I are excited to be joining the Wildcat Family," Dougherty said. "I am thrilled to reunite with Coach Fisch and be a part of building this program back to excellence. I believe that the University of Arizona has everything to compete and win championships on the football field. I have tremendous belief in the type of culture Coach Fisch is going to build, which is one that values hard work, toughness and creating a true family atmosphere. I know it's one that Tucson and all of the Wildcat Family is going to be extremely proud of. Bear Down!"
Prior to hit stint at UCLA, he served as an offensive analyst under Jim Harbaugh at Michigan in 2016 when the Wolverines boasted the 12th-best scoring offense in the nation at 41.0 points per game.
"Jimmie is an outstanding coach because he's incredibly bright and talented, but he also connects with the contemporary athlete in a very unique way," said veteran NFL and college head coach Jim Mora. "He is a great teacher and technician that brings tremendous creativity and understanding of the game. I've seen how players connect to him and gravitate towards him, which makes him stand out in all facets of coaching and recruiting. Jimmie builds his relationships with players and recruits through trust and by connecting with them like they're part of his family. He will be a tremendous addition to Coach Fisch's staff and the Arizona Football program."
Dougherty spent three seasons, from 2013 to 2015, at San Jose State. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Spartans and was promoted to Assistant Head Coach in 2014. In 2013, he directed an offense that set 10 single-season team records and saw players establish more than 35 individual school marks. The Spartans were ranked sixth nationally in passing offense (355.9 yards per game), 15th in total offense (493.3) and averaged 32.4 points per game that season. Dougherty worked directly with quarterback David Fales, who went on to be an NFL draft selection of the Chicago Bears, on a passing game that gained more than 4,000 yards for the second season in a row.
In 2014, he coached quarterback Joe Gray, who tied a Mountain West record for consecutive games passing of at least 300 yards. In 2015, he transitioned to coach the wide receivers. The Spartans ranked eighth in the country in completion percentage (.675), 12th nationally in third down conversion percentage (.478) and 18th in the NCAA in red zone offense (.889) in 2013 as Dougherty received national accolades as a Broyles Award nominee as one of the top assistant coaches in NCAA Division I FBS Football.
Prior to coaching at San Jose State, Dougherty coached at Washington for four years from 2009-12 where he served as the wide receivers coach. In his last season at Washington, he added the title of passing game coordinator. Dougherty worked closely with Jermaine Kearse, who went on to become a starter on the Seahawks' Super Bowl XLVIII winning team and amassed over 3,000 yards in the NFL.
A quarterback at Missouri from 1997 to 2001, Dougherty began his coaching career as a defensive backs coach at Illinois Wesleyan during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Dougherty earned his bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Missouri in 2002 and received his master's degree in Sport Management from Illinois State in 2004.
Jimmie and his wife, Harper, have two daughters, Collins and Ellie, and a son, Maverick.
Former Ohio State Football captain and NFL running back Scottie Graham joins Jedd Fisch's coaching staff as running backs coach. In addition to a decorated playing career, Graham has extensive player development experience at the collegiate and NFL levels as Senior Associate A.D. for Student-Athlete Development and Welfare at Arizona State as well as key leadership positions with the NFL Players Association. He has spent the last six years at Arizona State as the lead administrator for student-athlete development and welfare while also supporting the academic and operational missions of a variety of Sun Devil programs.
"After I was hired as head coach of our program, I had numerous coaches who I respect and admire reached out to me about Scottie," said head coach Jedd Fisch. "Coach Graham played at the highest level for a long time, as a running back in the National Football League. He also worked for the NFL Players Association in key positions. His mentorship and his ability to help our student-athletes achieve their goals to become professionals, both on and off the field, is a critical part to bringing him on staff. I am so excited to welcome Coach Graham and his family to Tucson!"
Prior to his arrival in Tempe, Graham spent sixteen years with the NFLPA. His tenure with the league began in 1998 as Regional Director before advancing to Director of Player Engagement in 2010. Graham's duties and accomplishments with the Player's Association reached across the organization. He worked with current and former players, as well as key stakeholders, on a wide range of matters, including multimedia rights, marketing, licensing and sponsorships among others. The two-time Ohio State graduate also played a pivotal role in the ratification of the NFL's $47.1 billion Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2006 while enhancing player benefits and raising money for Native Vision Life Skills Camp charity for Native American children in the Southwest.
Graham assisted in the organization and management of prominent events, which included the NFL Draft Combine, Rookie Symposium, Board of Player Representative Meetings and Former Players Convention among others.
"A tremendous coaching opportunity has presented itself and I am excited to be a part of the building process at the University of Arizona," Graham said. "I want to thank Ray Anderson, Dr. Michael Crow and everyone at Arizona State for a fantastic experience. I want to also thank Coach Fisch for offering me a chance to coach on the field, recruit and be a part of the Wildcat Family. I look forward to using my experience to coach and develop the young men in the program, on and off the field, while helping them achieve their goals and dreams."
With a NFL career of six seasons, Graham made his rookie debut with the New York Jets during the 1992 season before spending four years with the Minnesota Vikings. The running back broke a Vikings' record for rushing yards in consecutive games with 166 yards versus the Kansas City before rushing for 139 against the Packers in 1993. Graham rushed for 1,267 yards in the NFL without recording a fumble in his six seasons and received the Ed Block Courage Award in 1996.
The Long Beach, New York native was a high school All-American in football, wrestling and lacrosse before becoming a three-year starter at running back for Ohio State. Voted a captain in his senior season, Graham ran for 1,768 yards and 19 touchdowns for the Buckeyes from 1988 to 1991.
Graham holds a pair of degrees from Ohio State, graduated with a Bachelor's in Education and Sport Leadership in 1991 before earning his Master's degree in Black Studies in 1996. He and his wife, Mary, have two children, Mylek and Marika.
Jordan Paopao, who has spent nearly a decade coaching in the Pac-12 Conference, has been named Arizona's Tight Ends Coach. Paopao spent the 2020 season as Special Teams Coordinator and Tight Ends Coach at UNLV after nearly a decade on staff with the Washington Huskies.
"Jordan is well known as one of the top tight end coaches in the country, and we are fortunate to have him joining our program," said head coach Jedd Fisch. "Jordan has been an unbelievable developer of talent and will help us produce more NFL tight ends, hopefully similar to the one who is currently playing for the Buccaneers. Bringing Coach Paopao back down the west coast, close to his alma mater and hometown, is going to be critical to our success. As we build our offense and incorporate the tight end, Coach Paopao will be integral. I can't wait to get started and have Coach Paopao and his family a part of our Wildcat community."
Paopao's tenure in Seattle began as a graduate assistant, working with the tight ends, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons. His elevation to the full-time assistant coach with the tight ends, prior to the 2013 season, began a seven-year run of heralded positional and team successes. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, would leave the program holding nearly every season and career record by a tight end in school history, which included career receptions, career yards, career touchdowns, single-season receptions and single-season yards. Seferian-Jenkins was the 2013 Mackey Award winner as the nation's best tight end while also earning Third Team AP All-American and Second Team All-Pac-12 honors in his final season on Montlake.
"I am humbled, honored and excited to be a part of the University of Arizona," Paopao said. "I am very grateful for the incredible opportunity given to me by Coach Fisch to join this staff. It is a perfect time to join this football program and help restore it back to prominence. My family and I can't wait to arrive in Tucson, join the Wildcat Family and Bear Down!"
Three Husky tight ends under Paopao's tutelage would be drafted during time in Seattle; Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Second Round) in 2014, Will Dissly (Fourth Round) in 2018 and Drew Sample (Second Round) in 2019. The position group played a key part in UW leading the Pac-12 in total yards in 2016 and finishing second in 2018 and 2013. The Huskies would also finish in the top three in the conference in points per game on three separate occasions during Paopao's tenure. He was a part of Washington staffs that won 78 games, a pair of Pac-12 championships and played in nine bowl games
Paopao spent the 2010 season as Running Game Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach at Azusa Pacific after two seasons as Recruiting Assistant under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.
After a standout prep career at El Camino High in Oceanside, California, Paopao played at University of San Diego under Jim Harbaugh. A three-time Mid-Major All-American and All-Pioneer Selection for the Torreros at center. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from USD in 2008. Paopao is the son of former UCLA football standout Tony Paoao and nephew of CFL quarterback Joe Paopao. He and his wife, Kristin, have one son, Jordan Jr.
Kevin Cummings will join head coach Jedd Fisch's staff as wide receivers coach following four seasons at San Jose State in the same capacity. The Spartans finished the 2020 season with a mark of 7-1 while ranking in the top three of the Mountain West in total offense and passing. SJSU's offense placed wide out Bailey Gaither on the All-MW First Team as Tre Walker represented the Spartans' receiving core on the MW's All-Conference Second Team.
"When we started our search for a wide receiver coach, we were looking for a great developer of talent, a great fundamental coach, a relationship builder, and someone who has been productive wherever he has been," said head coach Jedd Fisch. "KC is that guy! Coach Cummings played in the PAC-12, coached in the PAC-12, and is now back in the PAC-12. He has made a positive impact on every program he has been with, and clearly knows how to develop and coach receivers in all systems. We are very fortunate to welcome Coach Cummings and his family to Tucson and very happy to say he is a part of our Wildcat community."
Spartan wide receivers were productive during the 2019 season as well under Cummings' guidance, accounting for 216 receptions and 17 touchdowns. Tre Walker was a First Team All-MW selection in 2019 and a member of the Biletnikoff Award watch list. SJSU's receivers helped propel the team to the top passing attack in the conference for the year.
"I am excited to join Coach Fisch and his outstanding staff and get to Tucson to begin building a football program with a championship culture," Cummings said. "I look forward to helping develop great student-athletes who excel on the field, in the classroom and in the community as we work relentlessly to compete at the highest level. Bear Down!"
Prior to his arrival in San Jose, Cummings spent three seasons as a quality control coach on the Oregon State coaching staff where he played as a wideout for the Beavers from 2011 to 2013.
Cummings was a three-year fixture in the slot for OSU in his 33 career games played. He finished his career with 52 catches for 627 yards and four touchdowns as the Beavers played in back-to-back bowls in 2012 and 2013.
After graduating from Oregon State in 2014 with a degree in Business Entrepreneurship, Cummings spent the 2014 season playing professionally with the Edmonton Eskimos and Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League.
Cummings is a Los Angeles native who was an all-league performer for Crespi High School. He and his wife, Nellie, have a daughter, Malia.