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ASU football makes various coaching changes amidst ongoing NCAA investigation

Anthony Totri Avatar
January 29, 2022

Nearly a handful of ASU football coaches have been fired or resigned over the last week, per several media outlets. The coaching changes come in the aftermath of the ongoing NCAA investigation related to recruiting allegations.

Wide receivers coach Prentice Gill, secondary coach Chris Hawkins, tight ends coach Adam Breneman and offensive coordinator Zak Hill are no longer with the program.

The four former ASU coaches are just the tip of the metaphorical iceberg in terms of lasting repercussions. NCAA investigators are reportedly aware of unpermitted meetings with recruits including ASU head coach Herm Edwards and associate head coach Antonio Pierce, according to Sun Devil Source. 

ASU coaches are also accused of traveling outside the state during a restricted time in the recruiting cycle. 

The Sun Devil football program has begun implementing self-imposed restrictions, potentially to help alleviate the awaiting NCAA punishments. For example, Pierce was not allowed to travel outside the state in recruiting efforts last year. 

In light of the recent firings and resignations, ASU football promoted Bobby Wade and Juston Wood. The two moving from their respective graduate assistant and interim titles to full-time roles. Wade is now the wide receivers coach, while Wood will serve as the tight end coach position.

“Both of these young men are up-and-comers in the coaching profession and both possess a bright future,” Edwards said in a press release. “Both are young, energetic and have a passion that is a perfect fit on our staff.  I look forward to seeing them thrive in our program.”

ASU football also added former NFL head coach Brian Billick to Edwards’ staff at the start of the week. Billick joining ASU as a special advisor to the head coach and an offensive analyst. It remains unclear how much the NCAA investigation impacted the decision to hire Billick.

The offensive coordinator opening now begs the question how transformative Billick will be in the shaping of the 2022 offense?

“I love what they are doing at ASU,” Billick said in a press release. “It’s all about structure in the NFL and hopefully that’s what I can bring to the table at ASU. My work for the last 12 years in television at Fox and the NFL Network has allowed me to take a step back and see the game from a different angle. It broadened my perspective and that is what I will bring to this position.” 

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