‘Tis the season for some last-minute, pre-Christmas shopping for Ray Anderson and new head coach Herm Edwards. Both have been busy piecing together Edwards’ staff, reportedly adding Danny Gonzalez as the new offensive coordinator and Western Illinois head coach Charlie Fisher as ASU’s new receivers coach. The school officially announced Antonio Pierce as linebackers coach and Joe Connolly as Head Coach for Sports Performance.
Gonzalez has served in the same capacity at San Diego State, Edwards alma mater, coaching under long-time head coach Rocky Long. The Aztecs defeated the Devils 30-20 back on September 9th in Tempe. Gonzalez is expected to replace Phil Bennett who announced last week he would not be returning for his second season due to family reasons.
Fisher was important assistant under Bill O’Brien on offensive side of ball at Penn State as team was navigating sanctions.
— SunDevilSource.com (@SunDevilSource) December 21, 2017
In two seasons Fisher went 14-9 at the FCS program. He would take over for Rob Likens who was recently promoted to offensive coordinator. Fisher was also a head coach at Division II West Georgia from 1993-97 and has been a staff member at Penn State, Miami (Ohio), Vanderbilt, Temple and North Carolina State.
Here’s a photo of Pierce (middle) with ASU DL JoJo Wicker (right) when Wicker played at Poly and Pierce was coach. Unclear if Pierce will have impact on Wicker early NFL decision. pic.twitter.com/HSwVDKXuxG
— Chris Karpman (@ChrisKarpman) December 22, 2017
Pierce, a former Arizona Wildcat and NFL linebacker, has been the head coach of power program Long Beach Poly High School which has produced several high-level players, including senior-to-be JoJo Wicker, an All Pac-12 selection this season. Pierce went 31-13 at Poly and produced 24 Division-I players.
Connolly comes to Tempe from the University of Massachusetts where he served as the athletics director for sports performance for the Minutemen. He previously served as the assistant strength and conditioning coach at Louisville.
Other in-house ASU coaching moves include non-coaching consultant Dave Christensen taking over as the new offensive line coach. Running backs coach John Simon was retained to the same position.