Ever since former New Mexico head coach Bob Davie was let go in November, it had been rumored that ASU defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales would be a strong candidate to be the next man at the reigns in Albuquerque.
Those rumblings have rose to the surface, as multiple reports have stated that Gonzales has accepted the head coaching position at New Mexico. Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports was the first person to break the news.
Arizona State DC Danny Gonzales will be the next coach a New Mexico, sources told @YahooSports.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 17, 2019
Gonzales is a native of Albuquerque and played his college football at UNM as a safety and punter. After his playing days concluded, he shifted over to coaching as a graduate assistant, video coordinator, and assistant coach over the course of nine years with the Lobos.
He then went on to become San Diego State’s defensive coordinator before arriving as the defensive coordinator with Herm Edwards at ASU.
Ultimately though, all of that has led back home for the defensive mind who has integrated a successful 3-3-5 system in Tempe over the past few seasons.
This year, ASU led the Pac-12 in turnovers with 17 recovered fumbles and nine interceptions. Additionally, Gonzales’ defense gave up just under 387 yards per game while allowing 270.1 pass yards and and 116.8 rushing yards on average.
In a season that featured many highs and lows for the Sun Devil defense, Gonzales also worked with a plethora of new faces.
Prior to the New Mexico announcement this morning, Gonzales spoke with the media as ASU was holding practice to get ready for the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
When asked about his future at ASU, Gonzales noted that things weren’t final with New Mexico, and he wasn’t sure where it stood at the moment.
He also emphasized that he wasn’t interested in taking another defensive coordinator position at any other power-five school.
With the departure, the Sun Devils now have another hole to fill on the coaching staff just days after they rounded out their entire offensive coaching staff and hired Zak Hill as the team’s new offensive coordinator.
Nothing is certain, but it’s plausible that the team could stay in house with the opening as well by possibly promoting linebackers coach Antonio Pierce or cornerbacks coach Tony White to the role of defensive coordinator.
However, that is still to be determined. National Signing Day for college football is tomorrow, Dec. 18, and ASU’s game against Florida State in the Sun Bowl is set for Dec. 31.