Al Simmons Retained as ASU's Cornerbacks Coach

Dec. 15, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Al Simmons has been retained from ArizonaStateUniversity's previous football coaching staff and will continue to be ASU's cornerbacks coach, Head Coach Dennis Erickson announced Friday.


Simmons, a 21-year coaching veteran, served as ASU's cornerbacks coach for the 2006 season, a year in which the Sun Devils recorded the third-best defensive improvement in the nation, yielding only 298.50 total yards-per-game, allowing 170.25 fewer yards-per-contest than in 2005. 


During his first season at ASU, Simmons helped mentor a Sun Devil pass defense that ranked third in the Pac-10 (181.9 avg.), the lowest average by a Sun Devil defense since 1992. Also, Simmons helped the guidance and progress of first-year Sun Devil, junior Justin Tryon, an Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 recipient. Also, Simmons helped mentor the transition from offense to defense made by junior Rudy Burgess, who switched from starting wide receiver to starting cornerback at midseason. On the season, ASU's usual starting cornerbacks (Tryon and senior Keno Walter-White) combined for 66 total tackles, two interceptions and 13 pass deflections.


Simmons has previously spent a total of four years as an assistant among Erickson's staff, serving as the San Francisco 49ers' cornerbacks coach in 2003 and the team's secondary coach in 2004.  Prior to coaching under Erickson in the NFL, Simmons served as OregonStateUniversity's secondary coach in 2001 and 2002, also under Erickson's direction.


Simmons is the first assistant coach named to Erickson's staff, who was introduced as head coach by Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love on Dec. 11. 


More hires on Coach Erickson's staff will be announced once they are approved by ASU's Human Resources Department.

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