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Herm Edwards names Antonio Pierce ASU’s sole defensive coordinator

Arizona State coach Antonio Pierce talks with players during the team’s first preseason practice Wednesday, July 31, 2019, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

The Arizona State Sun Devils did a bit of shuffling in-house on Wednesday.

The program announced it has named Antonio Pierce as the sole defensive coordinator. Marvin Lewis, who was co-DC with Pierce in 2020 and has since been interviewed for multiple NFL head coaching jobs, will take on the role as special assistant to the head coach.

“I’ve said it before and it is worth saying again that Antonio Pierce has proven his worth as a person, as a football coach and as a leader of young men while on our staff at ASU,” Edwards said in a press release.

“His pedigree and wealth of experience fits perfectly within our pro model and with how we do things in our program. I’m so proud of him and I think he is set up to be a Sun Devil for a long while.”

Additionally, Pierce retains the positions of associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.

“I am looking forward to this new challenge and opportunity to be the defensive coordinator at Arizona State,” Pierce said in the release. “I have learned so much from Coach Lewis and Coach Edwards during my time here and can’t wait to apply that knowledge in this new role. We are excited about the group that we have returning and can’t wait to continue to bring in talented Sun Devils.”

Last season, Pierce’s and Lewis’ defense forced 13 turnovers in four games, seven of which came in the 70-7 Territorial Cup win over the Arizona Wildcats. The unit finished first in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (23.2), fumble recoveries (8) and yards per completion allowed.

Before assuming the role of co-DC for the 2020 season, Pierce served as ASU’s linebackers coach for two years.

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