The Arizona State Sun Devils have named former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett to the same position, according to multiple reports.
Sources tell FootballScoop former Baylor DC Phil Bennett is joining Todd Graham’s staff at Arizona State & more news https://t.co/ppxU2CWIrn— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) January 11, 2017
Bennett, who’s been coaching Division I football since 1978, previously served as a defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh, Kansas State, TCU, Texas A&M, LSU, Purdue and Iowa State. He was also the head coach at SMU from 2002-07.
There is no previous history between ASU head coach Todd Graham and Bennett. According to Sun Devil Source, the incoming coach is expected to install his defensive system.
Todd Graham and Phil Bennett haven’t worked together previously. Bennett is expected to install his defense at ASU per sources.— SunDevilSource.com (@SunDevilSource) January 11, 2017
The 61-year-old Bennett will replace Keith Patterson, whose roles with the team have not yet been specified. Patterson assumed greater play-calling responsibilities for the 2016 season, and became a constant target for criticism over ASU’s inability to defend the pass amidst conceding 357.4 yards per game this season — the worst mark in the country.
In 2015, the Sun Devils’ defense finished last in the country for yards allowed per game (477.4), allowing 321.3 passing yards per contest.
Bennett will look to fix a Sun Devil defense that’s struggled to defend the pass. Last season, his Baylor defense allowed 230 passing yards per game.
12:30 p.m.: Keith Patterson is expected to remain with the program as a linebackers coach, per Sun Devil Source.