San Diego State defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales is expected to accept the same position at Arizona State, according to 247Sports’ SunDevilSource website.
Gonzales will replace first-year coordinator Phil Bennett, who resigned last week due to personal and family reasons.
New head coach Herm Edwards — a San Diego State alum — promised to have a new coordinator “by the end of the week” during the early signing period on Wednesday afternoon, claiming he set out to have his staff in place as soon as possible in order to meet the program’s “New Leadership Model.”
The former NFL coach has already promoted wide receivers coach Rob Likens to offensive coordinator and retained both running backs coach John Simon and Dave Christensen, who will transition from a non-coaching consultant role to offensive line coach.
SunDevilSource also reported that former NFL linebacker and current Long Beach Poly high school head coach Antonio Pierce is expected to be accept the position as the Sun Devils’ linebackers coach.
Gonzales led San Diego State to a No. 14 overall ranking in scoring defense (18.4 points per game) and No. 11 in total defense with a 303.5 yards allowed per game average. He ran a 3-3-5 defensive scheme that was similar to Arizona State’s under Bennett last season.
“Coaching is about massaging your system to the players,” Edwards said. “Ninety percent of the players who play football, they are system-needy. I’ve never been a coach to say, ‘This is my system.’ No, the system is to the players. When you have the players, it’s up to you as the coach to massage your system so the players could be successful.”
Gonzales had previously spent six seasons working as San Diego State’s safeties coach before being promoted to defensive coordinator prior to last season and had also coached under head coach Rocky Long during his tenure at New Mexico.