ASU Hires Grady Stretz To Be Defensive Line Coach

Feb. 20, 2006

Tempe, Ariz. - Arizona State University Head Football Coach Dirk Koetter announced Monday that he has named Tempe native and former McClintock High School and UCLA star Grady Stretz as Defensive Line Coach. Stretz comes to Arizona State after having spent the past eight years at the University of New Mexico, coaching defensive line and safeties. Stretz takes the place of Ted Monachino, who after five seasons with the Sun Devils took the assistant defensive line coaching position with the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL.

'Grady is a good fit for us in all aspects,' says Koetter, 'especially as a defensive line technician, as a recruiter and as a leader. He will also come in and do a great job of recruiting the state of Arizona.'

'I am excited to be back in my hometown of Tempe,' says Stretz. 'I was born and raised in Tempe and I grew up two miles from the campus. I have always been a fan of the Sun Devils. It is a great opportunity to work with Coach Koetter and the rest of his staff. I am looking forward to getting back into the Pacific-10 Conference and to working with the defensive line. This is a great fit for myself and my family.'

Stretz finished his eighth year on the New Mexico coaching staff last fall. After five years tutoring the defensive line from 1998-2002, Stretz had mentored the Lobo safeties the past two seasons. He also coached the Lobo special teams units. New Mexico played in the Emerald Bowl (2004) and the Las Vegas Bowl (2002 and 2003) during his career in Albuquerque. Stretz has recruited northwest New Mexico, East Texas, Dallas, Southern California junior colleges, Colorado, Chicago, Kansas junior colleges, Phoenix and Arizona high schools and junior colleges.

Stretz worked with Lobo head coach Rocky Long for 10 straight seasons together as the two served under Bob Toledo at UCLA in 1996-97. Long was the defensive coordinator with the Bruins while Stretz was a graduate assistant, working with defensive ends, linebackers and special teams. That year (1997) UCLA played in the Cotton Bowl and earned a No. 5 postseason national ranking.

Including the 2005 season, Stretz and three other coaches were the longest-tenured assistant coaches at UNM.

Under Stretz in 2004, senior co-captain Josh Bazinet, a safety and former walk-on, was named second-team All-Mountain West Conference. He tied for the league lead in fumble recoveries with four, including a 70-yard score on a return against Oregon State. Bazinet led UNM with four caused fumbles and he was third on the team in tackles (75).

Following the 2003 campaign, senior safety Brandon Ratcliff was named first-team All-Mountain West Conference for the second year in a row. Additionally, senior Sidney Wiley earned honorable mention honors from his strong safety position, while fellow senior Terrell Golden started 38 games from 2000-03.

Ratcliff (72) and Wiley (65) ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, in tackles and they combined to intercept seven passes, four by Ratcliff. Golden was seventh on the team with 44 tackles. That trio combined for 14.5 tackles for loss.

Lobo defensive linemen also flourished under Stretz' guidance. Daniel Kegler and D.J. Renteria were both second-team all-league in 2002 while Hebrews Josue was selected team captain and honorable mention all-conference. Kegler finished second in the MWC with seven sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Renteria, who was a team captain and first-team all-conference selection in 2003, tied for second in the league with four fumble recoveries.

Defensive end Brian Johnson was a two-time All-Mountain West Conference selection in 2000-01, the first UNM defensive lineman to be so recognized in consecutive years since John Bell in 1989-90.

New Mexico is one of only three teams to finish in the top-30 in the nation in total defense six of the past seven seasons. They were 17th in 2000, 18th in 2001, 29th in 2002, 18th in 2003 and 25th in 2004. In 2002 UNM ranked 7th nationally in rush defense and was 5th nationally in 2001.

Due to an improved defensive front, the Lobos led the Mountain West Conference in rushing defense in 2000 and `01 and finished second in `02. The 2001 unit allowed a paltry 87.4 yards a game, the second-lowest total in school history.

In 2000, the Lobos finished 17th in the nation in total defense (309.4 ypg), their best ranking since 1964. UNM recorded 52 sacks which was a school record, 23.5 of which came from the defensive line. Johnson was named all-league and he led the conference with 9.5 sacks. The UNM run defense held foes to an MWC-low 115.3 yards a game, including just 93.7 yards per game in league contests.In Stretz's second season (1999), Jason Purvis led the squad with five tackles for loss. Thanks to several forced fumbles by the defensive line, the Lobos went from an -0.83 turnover margin in 1998 to +0.18 in 1999, the third-best figure in the Mountain West.

In Stretz's first year at UNM, the Lobo defensive line recorded 21 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, led by Purvis' eight tackles for loss and five quarterback sacks.

Stretz, 32, was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA and a member of the 1993 Rose Bowl team that finished the season ranked 17th nationally. During his senior year (1995), Stretz earned honorable mention All-Pacific-10 Conference accolades at defensive tackle. He also had the distinction of being named CBS Player of the Game versus Washington State, earning the Chevrolet Scholarship Award. Stretz culminated his final campaign at Westwood by winning the N.N. Sugarman Trophy for Best Leadership on the squad.

During his career at UCLA, Stretz started 22 games and was a member of Bruin teams that participated in three bowl games, the 1991 Sun Bowl, the 1993 Rose Bowl and the 1995 Aloha Bowl. He signed a free agent contract with the New York Giants in 1996.

Stretz received both of his degrees from UCLA, a bachelor's in History in 1996 and master's in Arts and Education in 1997.

A Tempe, Ariz., native, Stretz graduated from McClintock High School in 1991 and received accolades from such publications as USA Today and BlueChip Report.

Stretz and his wife, Sarah, have a 2-year-old son, Maddox and a seven-month-old daughter, Makenna.

In other staff news, safety coach Dan Fidler will become the recruiting coordinator, Koetter announced.

'This move completes our staff and gives us an excellent mix of experience and youth,' adds Koetter. 'All of our coaches and excellent recruiters and first-rate teachers. We are excited to get started with spring football workouts in four weeks.'

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