After athletic director Greg Byrne hired Rich Rodriguez as Arizona’s head football coach, the majority of the UA’s assistants knew their Wildcat careers were over.
There seemed to be hope for UA quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo, however. He was on the same staff as Rodriguez at Tulane and the two had a longstanding relationship.
Scelfo was already familiar with incumbent starting quarterback Matt Scott, and it made sense that he would be the position coach that Rodriguez kept around.
But Rodriguez eventually decided to bring on Rod Smith as his quarterbacks coach. Smith had been with Rodriguez at Michigan and West Virginia, and even played for the UA’s head honcho at Glenville State from 1993 to 1996.
“He had a guy who had been with him for 10 years,” Scelfo said. “Rich knew what he wanted there. Rod Smith is a great coach. I could have maybe stayed at another position but that’s not what I wanted to do.”
Scelfo added that he evaluated all of his opportunities and didn’t want to just “take a job to take a job.” So after almost 30 consecutive years of coaching, it was time for Scelfo to take a break.
“I might take a redshirt year this year,” Scelfo said with a laugh. “I’ve got an opportunity to do some things I haven’t been able to do in a long time, spend time with my family, watch my kids play.”
Scelfo’s son, Anthony, is in the Tampa Bay Rays’ farm system. His youngest son, Jordan, who graduated from Tucson’s Salpointe Catholic High School, is a freshman quarterback at the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.
Scelfo’s been able to catch a few of Anthony’s spring training games, as well as Jordan’s spring game. He even had a few special guests with him.
Nick Foles, who lived with Scelfo for a month after the NFL Scouting Combine, and his family drove from Austin to San Antonio to catch the game and take Jordan out to dinner.
“Him and I are so close,” Foles said. “I got really close to his family also.”
While Scelfo will enjoy his year off, he’s not calling it quits just yet.
“I’ll continue to coach,” he said. “I love this too much.”
“Anywhere really. I really want to get in on a great staff. A good job depends on who you work for and who you work with,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Pac-12 or Division III. It could be a high school job and I would take it, it doesn’t matter.”