WILDCATS REBORN: Chuck Cecil preaching and teaching no-fear mentality he played with

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 5:42 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - If you want to instill fear in an opponent, put it on the tape.

It’s words to live by if you aspire to be as feared as the guy who may or may not have been too vicious for the NFL.

Chuck Cecil, defensive back coach at the University of Arizona, was a walk-on for the Wildcats who turned into a superstar.

Cecil, a Pro Bowl safety, played seven years in the NFL -- the Green Bay Packers (1988-92), Phoenix Cardinals (1993) and Houston Oilers (1995). He ended up with 461 tackles, 16 interceptions and a touchdown.

Those stats aren’t too bad, but Cecil’s reputation is far more impressive.

In 1993, he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated with the title “Is Chuck Cecil Too Vicious for the NFL?.”

When asked about what it felt like to hit someone at full speed his answer was as direct as it was short -- “it was euphoric.”

Cecil said those skills were the result of refined practice, not just instinct. Hours spent hitting the sled.

A lot of people aren’t willing to do it. Or have it done to them.

“The guy you have to be most afraid of is the guy who is willing to hurt himself to hurt you,” he said. “I would say I really didn’t have a problem with that.”

It’s a quality he hopes to pass down to the Wildcat safeties he now coaches.

“No fear mentality,” he said. “Don’t be afraid of injuring yourself. It’s part of it. Once you get over that hump, over that hurdle, it allows you to play a little faster.

“Pain, injuries, it’s a part of the game. Accept that ahead of time and move on.”

When asked if anything else brought him as much euphoria as hitting people on the field, Cecil didn’t hesitate.

He said it was marrying his wife Carrie and the birth of their daughter Charli.

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