Wolf Pack assistant coach moves on
RENO – The University of Nevada football team is looking for a new secondary coach after Dave Fipp resigned on Thursday to take an assistant’s job at San Jose State University.
Fipp, who was Nevada’s co-defensive coordinator last season, his first on staff, will be re-united with veteran head coach Dick Tomey, who was hired as San Jose State’s new head football coach two days ago. Tomey left his job as defensive ends coach at Texas to take the San Jose State position.
“He wanted to coach with his old college coach,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said, confirming the rumors that Fipp had quit. “That’s what he told me. I was (a little) surprised. You don’t come in one year and leave.
“He was a young guy that had a good background in secondary play.”
Fipp played for Tomey in 1993 as a walk-on, and eventually earned a scholarship. He led the special teams in tackles in 1995 and started in 1996 and 1997. He was one of the top tacklers his last two years at Arizona.
Fipp, when reached at his Northern Nevada home, said he hasn’t signed a contract as yet. Because San Jose State is a state institution, the job must be posted for a certain time before it can be filled.
“I’m thrilled for the opportunity,” Fipp said. “The chance to work for the coach I played for was something I couldn’t pass up. He had called me a while back and said he was looking at some jobs. After he got the job, he called me and talked to coach Ault. I think he knew it was my dream to work for him. Obviously, this is his last go-around, and I want him to go out the right way.”
Fipp was referring to how Tomey was forced out at Arizona in the late 90s, and the Wildcats’ program has never been the same. Tomey coached the “Desert Swarm” defense, which was ranked among the national leaders.
Fipp said he felt bad about leaving after one year, adding that he will miss working with the Nevada program and all the great people he met and worked with.
“I’m not sure any (coaching) job is more than just a year job,” Fipp said.
Fipp said the staff is still being assembled, and he didn’t know if he would be a coordinator or not.
The San Jose State football program has struggled for many years on the field and at the gate. Only Dave Baldwin and Ron Turner have had any success. The school’s academic senate believes football should be discontinued.
That’s not an easy situation to walk into, but Fipp didn’t appear to be overly concerned.
“I know coach Tomey wouldn’t take this job if it was going downhill,” Fipp said. “If he thinks it’s a good deal, then I think it’s a good deal.”
Ault said that once recruiting is over, the search for a new assistant will begin. Ault said he wants to hire somebody that has experience in Nevada’s secondary philosophy. He didn’t say whether Barry Sacks would be the only defensive coordinator, or whether the new hire would step in and be a co-defensive coordinator.
The secondary had problems last year. The Wolf Pack had to play several young players at both corners after two returnees were lost because of legal difficulties last summer.
Darrell Moody can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281.