Tanner Bell, left, and John Parada lift coach John Mackovic into the air after beating Cal on Nov. 16, 2002. Benjie Sanders / Arizona Daily Star

Benjie Sanders / Arizona Daily Star

After starting as Arizona’s offensive coordinator in 1973, Mackovic went on to become head coach at Wake Forest, Illinois, Texas and Arizona, Mackovic went 95-82-3. But it was his four-year head coaching stint for the Kansas City Chiefs that affected Arizona most. While there, he hired UA assistant Willie Peete, who moved to Kansas just as his son, Sahuaro High School QB Rodney Peete was about to be a senior in high school. Once Rodney left town, he chose not to sign with Arizona, and perhaps take them to a Rose Bowl in 1986, but to sign with USC, where he guided Smith’s Trojans to a pair of Rose Bowls. 

Sports columnist for the Arizona Daily Star.