ASU officially hires Patterson as defensive coordinator

Keith Patterson will serve as ASU's defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and defensive special-teams coach.

Jerome Miron

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State announced Friday the hiring of West Virginia defensive coordinator Keith Patterson to serve as defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and defensive special-teams coach. The move was reported by on Thursday.

Patterson served as ASU coach Todd Graham’s defensive coordinator at Pittsburgh in 2011 and spent the past two seasons as West Virginia’s defensive coordinator. He will share the coordinator duties for the Sun Devils with Chris Ball, who had been co-defensive coordinator along with Paul Randolph. Randolph will relinquish that role but will continue as associate head coach and defensive ends coach.

ASU also announced that tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Chip Long will coach the offensive portion of special teams.

Patterson, Graham’s college rooomate who also coached at Tulsa after 14 years in the high school ranks, replaces special-teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Joe Lorig, who left Thursday to become the linebackers coach at Utah State.

Patterson followed Graham from Tulsa to Pittsburgh in 2011 and served as co-defensive coordinator for a defense that ranked third in the nation in sacks. When Graham left Pitt to take the ASU job in December 2011, he reportedly offered Patterson a position at ASU, but Patterson declined in order to become interim head coach and lead the Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl. He then joined the West Virginia staff as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and he became the team’s lone defensive coordinator in 2013.

While West Virginia’s defense ranked 108th nationally in yards allowed last season and 101st the year before, Patterson and Graham had some success together at Tulsa. Their best defense their ranked 74th in the nation, and in 2010 the defense led the nation in interceptions and ranked third in turnovers gained.