The origins of the ‘Wildcat’

Miami’s “Wildcat” formation goes back to football’s origins. But for those who want its modern-day origin, simply go back to 2006 in Fayetteville, Ark., where Dolphins quarterbacks coach David Lee was working with the school’s former offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, now at Tulsa.

Malzahn used the “Wild Hog” formation to help the high schools he coached in Arkansas win state championships. He then brought it with him to the University of Arkansas, where he spent the 2006 season as the school’s offensive coordinator, with Lee as his quality control coach.

Lee studied Malzahn’s plays, remembered his “Wild Hog” formations, and recently brought it up to the Dolphins coaching staff with the revised name “Wildcat.”

The Dolphins liked it enough that they installed it and butchered the New England Patriots with it. They did it again last Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, setting off a league-wide trend of other teams trying to deploy the Wildcat that started out as the Wild Hog back at the University of Arkansas.

Now Lee is succeeding with the Dolphins, Malzahn is doing the same with Tulsa and the trajectory of both their coaching careers is on the rise.

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