ASU football welcomes new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey

Chip Lindsey and Todd Graham see similarities between the offenses of University of Southern Mississippi and ASU.

ASU officially announced the hiring of University of Southern Mississippi offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey Friday.

Head coach Todd Graham said he was the No. 2 choice during the process.

“I couldn’t be more excited about what he’s going to bring to our program and for our players, what he can do to help develop the players that we have,” Graham said after practice.

Lindsey said the hiring process was a fast one.

“It was just a great opportunity, one of those deals that I felt like, ‘I want to get on this as quick as I can,’” he said. “I probably recruited (Graham) as hard as anything."

The spread style of the offense is similar between the two schools, which allows ASU to keep its current terminology in the playbook. Graham said that was a key component of the job search.

“We don’t have to change our terminology, which I wouldn’t have done,” he said.

Lindsey will help coach the Cactus Bowl, but he will not be involved in play calling, Graham said.

Prior to ASU’s first bowl practice, Lindsey met with the team. Senior quarterback Mike Bercovici said he got a good impression.

“He sat down in a chair next to the quarterbacks and kind of kicked back a little bit,” Bercovici said. “He’s got a little bit of a swagger to him.”

Lindsey had success coaching junior quarterback Nick Mullens at USM. Mullens threw for 4,145 yards this season, becoming the first Golden Eagle to win the Offensive Player of the Year award.

The younger players practiced for about 40 minutes after the rest of the team left, and Lindsey got a chance to work more with redshirt freshman quarterback Manny Wilkins.

“We’re just sticking to what we believe in and that’s just our family football and making sure we’re all disciplined,” Wilkins said.

He added that it’s exciting to see accomplishments that Lindsey’s players had.

Lindsey also coached a team with two 1,000 yard rushers at USM. Sophomore running back Kalen Ballage said he hadn’t heard of Lindsey before yesterday, but he saw potential for the team under the new coach.

“He looks like he knows what he’s doing so (we’re) really just ready to take this team to another level,” said Ballage.

During practice, Lindsey stood on the field behind the play, watching his new unit. He was more observant than vocal at his first practice, but would occasionally talk to Bercovici or give advice to a younger quarterback.

“You can tell that he’s a quarterback coach, he understands the fundamentals and technique of throwing the football,” Bercovici said. “He gave me a couple things to think about today.”

Lindsey said the foundation of the offense already exists and he’s going to alter it in spring based on his personnel.

“We’re going to build our offense based on our players,” he said. “We’re going to cater to the guy that plays.”


Reach the reporter at logan.newman@asu.edu or follow @Logan_Newsman on Twitter.

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