Former Arizona State DC Danny Gonzales reportedly takes assistant job with rival Wildcats

Jan 24, 2024, 9:00 AM | Updated: 9:03 am

Danny Gonzales, former New Mexico head coach...

Head Coach Danny Gonzales of the New Mexico Lobos looks back at the video display during the second half against the Boise State Broncos at Albertsons Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 42-14. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats have agreed to hire former Arizona State Sun Devils defensive coordinator and New Mexico head coach Danny Gonzales as an assistant on Brent Brennan’s new staff, reports ESPN’s Pete Thamel.

Gonzales will fill in as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, according to Thamel. He will work under Duane Akina, who has reportedly agreed to be defensive coordinator.

Gonzales, who joined the Sun Devils coaching staff as head coach Herm Edwards’ defensive coordinator in 2018, was named as the team’s assistant head coach after his first year.

He took the New Mexico job following a 7-5 season for Arizona State in 2019.

The Albuquerque native went 11-32 at New Mexico, his alma mater, before he was fired after this past season.

What is new Arizona assistant coach Danny Gonzales’ experience?

Gonzales played safety and punted for the Lobos from 1994-98. He was a graduate assistant from 1999-2002 and also worked as New Mexico’s video coordinator (2003-05) before being promoted to coach the safeties, kickers, punters and long snappers from 2006-08.

He then coached at San Diego State, leading the safety room for six years before becoming the defensive coordinator in the 2017 season. That year at SDSU, the Aztecs allowed just 314.5 yards of total offense per game, ranking 11th in the country.

Under Gonzales over the next two seasons, Arizona State’s defense developed into one of the country’s best units at creating turnovers. ASU averaged 2.2 turnovers per game in 2019, tied for second in the country.

Gonzales coached several NFL products in Tempe, including linebacker Darien Butler (Las Vegas Raiders), nose tackle D.J. Davidson (New York Giants), and cornerbacks Jack Jones (Raiders) and Chase Lucas (Detroit Lions).

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