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ASU football defensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator Antonio Pierce resigns

Pierce is the fifth coach to depart the Sun Devils in the past two weeks amid the NCAA's investigation into the program's alleged recruiting violations


The fallout from the NCAA's investigation into ASU football's alleged recruiting violations continued Wednesday with the departure of the team's defensive coordinator.

ASU football assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce is no longer employed by the University, according to ASU spokesperson Chris Fiscus. Pete Thamel of ESPN reported Pierce would resign and seek NFL coaching opportunities.

Pierce is the fifth coach to depart in the past two weeks from head coach Herm Edwards' staff amid the NCAA investigation into the program's alleged recruiting violations. Offensive coordinator Zak Hill, tight ends coach Adam Breneman, wide receivers coach Prentice Gill and defensive backs coach Chris Hawkins all either resigned or were fired in the past week.

Pierce has been with the Sun Devils since 2017 taking on multiple roles, including recruiting coordinator. From 2018-22, ASU produced recruiting classes ranked no lower than 52nd in the nation. ASU's 2022 class is currently ranked 105th in the nation and last in the Pac-12.

ASU's defense improved under Pierce, and in 2019, ASU finished 35th in scoring defense after having finished 99th or worse from 2015-17. 

READ MORE: ASU football begins coaching carousel as NCAA investigation continues

On Jan. 31, ASU announced it hired offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Glenn Thomas after Zak Hill resigned. 

Thomas has coached for over 20 years, coaching quarterbacks at the University of Nevada Las Vegas for the past two years. He previously spent seven years coaching with the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. 

Brian Billick was also hired last week to serve as an offensive analyst/advisor to the head coach.

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Justin SpangenthalSports Reporter

Justin Spangenthal is a reporter for The State Press, currently covering Men's Golf and Track and Field. Justin transferred to ASU last January and is planning to graduate Fall '23. He is passionate about journalism and hopes to one day launch his own media outlet.

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