Murray expected to be named Arizona's RB coach
After retiring from the NFL, DeMarco Murray went a familiar route jumping into the broadcast booth. After less than a year away from the field, however, he will make his return in 2019 but it will be on the sidelines. The longtime NFL running back is expected to be named Arizona's next running back coach filling a position left by longtime Kevin Sumlin assistant Clarence McKinney who left UA to become the head coach at Texas Southern.
It will be Murray's first coaching job after a seven-year professional career that took him to Dallas, Philadelphia and Tennessee. The new UA running back coach played in 99 games in the NFL spending the majority of his career with the Dallas Cowboys after being selected in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Cowboys in 2011.
Murray made it to three Pro Bowls in his time in the NFL and was the NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2014. A former four-star prospect out of Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Murray was the No. 35-ranked prospect in the 2006 recruiting class. He eventually signed with Oklahoma where he had a chance to play for Sumlin who was the co-offensive coordinator for the Sooners at the start of Murray's career.
He rushed for over 3,600 yards and 50 touchdowns during his career with the Sooners and he is the all-time leader in touchdowns at Oklahoma.
Last month Sumlin confirmed Murray had expressed an interest in becoming a coach and the two had discussions about the opportunity of coming on board at Arizona.
“We’ve talked to a lot of different people,” the Arizona head coach said. “I’ve had a couple different candidates that we’ve brought to campus. I’ve had different phone conversations with different people. I’ve known DeMarco since he was a senior at Bishop Gorman High School. He’s a quality man, a class act. He has expressed some interest in getting into coaching, and because of that relationship he’s another guy that we’re talking to.”
The new is expected to be made official by the program this week, and when he comes on board Murray will have to replace a longtime Sumlin assistant in McKinney who had been with the Arizona head coach since the late 2000s at Houston.
McKinney was a big part of UA's recruiting efforts in Houston, and while Murray doesn't have experience recruiting high school prospects his connections to Nevada's most prominent high school certainly should benefit the Wildcats.
The running back position in the coming years will be important for UA with JJ Taylor now headed into the back half of his career. Current Tucson-Salpointe junior running back Bijan Robinson is currently rated as a top-100 recruit in the 2020 class and will become a key recruit for Murray as he begins his coaching career.
Murray spent his time away from the field as a broadcaster for FOX as a college football analyst during the 2018 season. Murray retired in the summer at age 30 and he will turn 31 in February as he begins his career with the Wildcats.