Tomey previously coached at Arizona, Hawaii

Updated: December 28, 2004, 8:01 PM ET
Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Dick Tomey, the career leader in coaching victories at both Arizona and Hawaii, has been hired to revive San Jose State's struggling football program, a school source said Tuesday.

A school source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Tuesday that Tomey was chosen to succeed Fitz Hill, who resigned earlier in the month after four losing seasons.

San Jose State scheduled a news conference for Thursday but didn't disclose the reason.

The 66-year-old Tomey is currently the assistant head coach at Texas under Mack Brown, helping to prepare the team for Saturday's Rose Bowl. The Longhorns declined comment through a spokesperson.

Tomey went 158-110-7 in 24 seasons at Hawaii and Arizona, including 14 mostly successful seasons in Tucson, where he helped build the famed "Desert Swarm" defense. The Wildcats won four bowl games during his tenure, including victories in the 1994 Fiesta Bowl and the 1998 Holiday Bowl, and compiled the second-most Pac-10 victories in the 1990s.

Tomey also won 63 games in 10 seasons at Hawaii, leading the program's move to Division I.

After Tomey left Arizona following the 2000 season, he spent two years as a broadcaster before returning to the San Francisco 49ers last season as an assistant defensive coach. He joined the Longhorns as Brown's assistant and defensive ends coach in January.

Tomey's hiring is the first big decision for athletic director Tom Bowen, another former 49ers employee hired just last week.

Tomey has a challenge ahead of him at San Jose State, where Hill resigned in part over frustration at his inability to drum up support for the program from the school or the community. The Spartans' Division I status has been under scrutiny because of the school's weak home attendance.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press