Brent Brennan set to leave San Jose State for Arizona’s head coaching job

Brent Brennan set to leave San Jose State for Arizona’s head coaching job

Brent Brennan, who has led San Jose State to three bowl game appearances in the last four seasons, has agreed to become Arizona’s next head football coach, according to ESPN’s Pete Thamel on Tuesday morning.

Brennan has a 34-48 record as head coach of the Spartans, but was 26-19 in the last four seasons. He led SJSU to its first Mountain West championship in 2020.

The Spartans started 1-5 under Brennan in 2023, but went on a six-game winning streak to end the regular season. SJSU finished in a three-way tie for first place in the Mountain West but were held out of the conference championship game when computer rankings slotted Boise State and UNLV ahead of them. The Spartans lost their final game in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 23, falling to Coastal Carolina 24-14.

Brennan’s 2020 team defeated Boise State in the conference championship game, but lost to Ball State in the Arizona Bowl. That year, the Spartans finished No. 24 in the Associated Press Poll — just the second time SJSU was ranked in a postseason AP Poll.

Oddly enough, it was former Alabama coach Nick Saban’s surprise retirement that spurred Brennan to Arizona.

After Saban announced his retirement last Wednesday, Alabama quickly hired his replacement two days later in Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer, who led the Huskies to a 14-1 record this season and a trip to the national championship game. Washington then hired Jedd Fisch on Sunday, who led Arizona to a No. 11 postseason ranking, to fill its vacancy.

Once it was known that Fisch was going to take his offensive staff and some of his defensive coaches with him to Washington, Brennan became Arizona’s top target on Monday, according to a report by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

The agreement is a five-year contract, Thamel reported.

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This isn’t the first time Brennan has received interest to coach at other schools. Just a couple of months ago, he was a finalist to be head coach at Oregon State after Jonathan Smith left for Michigan State. In 2022, Brennan interviewed to become Stanford’s head coach before the Cardinal hired Troy Taylor.

Arizona also had its eyes on Brennan in the past. The Wildcats pursued Brennan in 2020, but went with Fisch instead.

Brennan has history at Arizona, which made him one of the top candidates once the job became open. He served as a graduate assistant for the Wildcats in 2000 under then-head coach Dick Tomey. Brennan’s brother, Brad Brennan, played for Tomey for five seasons and was on the team in 2000.