With Baylor overhauling its coaching staff in the wake of the highly-publicized sexual assault scandal, Phil Bennett had been left standing in the game of coaching musical chairs — until now.
Arizona State has announced Wednesday afternoon that Bennett has been hired to serve as Todd Graham‘s defensive coordinator. Bennett will replace Keith Patterson, who will remain with the Sun Devils as linebackers coach.
Bennett will be taking over an ASU defense that was 127th (of 128 teams) in total defense and 124th in scoring this past season. In 2016, BU was 81st in the former category and 71st in the latter.
Prior to spending the last six seasons in Waco, Bennett had been the coordinator at seven other FBS programs: Pittsburgh, Kansas State, TCU, Texas A&M, LSU, Purdue and Iowa State. He was also the head coach at SMU for six seasons.
“With that amount of experience in conferences such as the SEC, the Big 12, the Big Ten and the Big East he has had to game plan to defend every offense imaginable. He has been associated with successful defenses everywhere he’s been,” Graham said in a statement. “We are very fortunate to have him bring his level of experience to the Sun Devil program.”
“I’ve known Todd Graham for a long time and I love his passion for the game of football,” said Bennett. “It’s like any situation in that I think I can help get ASU back to championship football. I’ve watched them play and I know ASU is not far away. The program has great support from its administration and fan base. I’m very excited to begin this part of my life.”