The Arizona Wildcats have fired defensive line coach Iona Uiagalelei, a little more than two days before Saturday's showdown with No. 7 Utah.
The second-year defensive line coach lasted just 22 games at the college level. Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin hired him away from California's Mt. San Antonio Junior College with hopes that he could develop defensive linemen while tapping into Arizona's long-dormant Polynesian recruiting pipeline.
Uigalelei is the third defensive assistant coach to be fired this season: Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates and linebackers coach John Rushing were dismissed Oct. 27, shortly after Arizona's loss at Stanford. The Wildcats had never fired an assistant coach midseason before then.
Arizona ranks ninth in the Pac-12 in rushing defense and last in the league in yards allowed per game.
The UA has not announced the move yet, and it's unclear who will coach the defensive line when the Wildcats host the Utes at 8 p.m. Saturday. The new coach will join new coordinator Chuck Cecil, linebackers coach Hank Hobson and incumbent defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin on that side of the ball.
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