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Report: ASU expected to name Donnie Henderson new defensive coordinator

Buffalo Bills defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson talks with players during NFL football minicamp in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, June 12, 2013. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

Arizona State is expected to name Donnie Henderson its new defensive coordinator Friday, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki.

Jurecki reported on Dec. 15 that new ASU head coach Herm Edwards had zeroed in on the longtime NFL assistant. The position was open after former defensive coordinator Phil Bennett announced he would not be returning next season, despite being offered the same position by Edwards.

Henderson, 60, wasn’t on a coaching staff in 2017. His last stop was in Buffalo, where he served as the defensive backs coach for the Bills from 2013 to 2016. Prior to that, Henderson had two one-year stints in the college game, serving as the DBs coach at Southern University in 2011 and at Syracuse in 2012.

Edwards discussed the open defensive coordinator job Wednesday, saying he expected to have the staff together by the end of the week.

“I can’t mention who they are at this point in time; you’ll know who they are,” he said. “We’re going to be fine.”

While he didn’t lend any hints toward who could be brought on as the defensive coordinator, Edwards told returning players and recruits that he and a new DC will cater a defensive identity to them.

The veteran is also no stranger to the Valley. Henderson coached defensive backs for the Cardinals under head coach Ken Whisenhunt from 2009 to 2010 and was on the staff at ASU from 1992 to 1997 under Bruce Snyder.

Henderson does have some experience as a defensive coordinator during his career. He held that position with the New York Jets under Edwards from 2004 to 2005. In 2006, he oversaw the Detroit Lions’ defense under head coach Rod Marinelli for a team that went 3-13 and ranked 30th in the league defensively, giving up an average of 24.9 points per contest.

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