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Sports >  WSU football

Report: Washington State defensive coordinator Brian Ward expected to leave for same role at Arizona State

Dec. 3, 2022 Updated Sat., Dec. 3, 2022 at 9:09 p.m.

From staff reports

From staff reports

Washington State defensive coordinator Brian Ward is reportedly leaving the program to take the same position at Arizona State under new Sun Devils coach Kenny Dillingham.

Multiple national media members reported the news Saturday evening.

Ward came to WSU this offseason from Nevada and took over the defensive system that had been installed by head coach Jake Dickert, while serving as the team’s defensive coordinator the two years prior.

Ward added some tweaks to Dickert’s system, but didn’t make fundamental changes.

The Cougars were led by their defense throughout the year. The unit performed admirably this season except for a couple of games – Washington and Oregon shredded WSU’s defense.

The Cougars finished the regular season third in the Pac-12 in scoring defense (22.4 ppg) and ranked 35th nationally. They led the conference in that category for five consecutive weeks before giving up 51 points and over 700 yards in a loss to Washington. WSU came in at fifth in the conference in total defense (394 yards per game) and ranked 80th nationally.

Ward led a defensive turnaround at Nevada during his two-year stay (2020-21). Before then, he coordinated defenses at Syracuse, Bowling Green, Western Illinois and Drake.

The Glendale, Arizona, native is returning home to assist in Dillingham’s rebuild of ASU. Dillingham, the offensive coordinator at Oregon this season, was hired Nov. 26. The Sun Devils played under interim coach Shaun Aguano for most of the season after firing coach Herm Edwards early in the year.

Ward will join former Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin, who resigned from Cal Poly and is expected to become ASU’s offensive coordinator.

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