ASU hires San Diego State’s Danny Gonzales as new DC
The Arizona State Sun Devils officially hired San Diego State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales to the same position, the team announced Sunday.
“I am honored and humbled to be a part of the Arizona State University football program. It is a privilege to represent such a prestigious institution, and to be a part of this program’s rich tradition of athletic excellence,” Gonzales said.
“I’d like to thank Ray Anderson, Jean Boyd, and Coach Edwards for this tremendous opportunity. I am excited to get to work building relationships with our student-athletes and do my part in helping Coach Edwards execute his vision for our program.”
The 40-year-old Gonzales spent the last six seasons coaching the Aztecs’ safeties before adding on the role of defensive coordinator for the first time this season. Under Gonzales, San Diego State allowed 18.4 points per game, a number ranked 14th in the country.
From 2011-2016, San Diego State ranked third in total interceptions (100).
Before working at San Diego State, Gonzales coached for New Mexico, working with the safeties and specialists from 2005-08.
One of Gonzales’ staff members will be former Arizona and NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce coaching the linebackers, according to Sun Devil Source. The school made the move official early Friday afternoon.
Pierce was the Long Beach Poly head coach before reportedly stepping down, according to the Long Beach Press Telegram.
The three finalists for the defensive coordinator job were Gonzales, Boise State’s Andy Avalos and longtime NFL assistant Donnie Henderson, according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Mike Jurecki.
Gonzales was favored due to his college experience and ties to California with recruiting, per Jurecki.
The opening came after former defensive coordinator Phil Bennett revealed he had declined coming back next season.