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ASU Promotes Donnie Henderson to Defensive Coordinator

The interim defensive backs coach and analyst officially received a promotion on Friday following the loss of Antonio Pierce.

The following is a press release from Arizona State University:

"Sun Devil Football appointed interim defensive backs coach Donnie Henderson as the new defensive coordinator, the program announced Tuesday morning.

"Henderson brings over 30 years of coaching experience to the table, succeeding at many stops both at the collegiate and professional level. This will be his second stint as an assistant coach at Arizona State, previously serving on the staff from 1992-1997.

"'I want to thank Ray Anderson, Jean Boyd, and Coach Edwards for this opportunity," Henderson remarked. "I am excited about the challenge to continue the standard of the way we play football here that has been established by the coordinators before me. My family is thrilled and humbled to have this opportunity.'

"The two masterminds behind the best defense in NFL history will once again team up, this time in charge of the Sun Devil defense. Special Assistant to the Head Coach Marvin Lewis will play a big role in developing game plans and devising schemes, alongside longtime colleague Donnie Henderson. With the recent addition of Brian Billick as an Offensive Analyst and Advisor to the Head Coach, Herm Edwards' staff now has 75+ years of NFL and over 100 combined years of coaching experience.

"'We are very fortunate to have an experienced and deep bench on our coaching staff. This will allow us to continue the advancement of our defensive plan through the elevation of former Analyst and interim Defensive Backs Coach Donnie Henderson,' says Edwards."

The promotion of Henderson comes just one week following the resignation of former defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce, who was believed to played a major role in ASU's alleged recruiting misconduct that is currently being investigated by the NCAA. 

Pierce was the fifth coach in the last month to depart Arizona State due to ties with the investigation.

Henderson has an extensive history of coaching which dates back to 1983 when he began as a grad assistant at Utah State. Henderson also had a previous stint with the Sun Devils from 1992-97, where he began as a safeties coach before upgrading to the entire defensive backs unit in 1995. 

From 1999-2010, Henderson coached at the professional level. 

As the press release alludes to, Henderson's experience furthers Arizona State's commitment to establishing a pro atmosphere in Tempe.