Grady Stretz Retained as Defensive Line Coach

Dec. 16, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Grady Stretz has been retained from ArizonaStateUniversity's previous football coaching staff and will continue to serve as ASU's defensive line coach, Head Coach Dennis Erickson announced Saturday.


Stretz, a Tempe, Ariz. native and former McClintockHigh School and UCLA star coached his first year at ASU in 2006 after spending the previous eight seasons at the University of New Mexico, coaching the defensive line and safeties for the Lobos.


As the Sun Devils' defensive line coach in 2006, Stretz helped ASU showcase the third-greatest defensive improvement in the nation, allowing 298.5 yards-per-game, 170.25 fewer yards-per-game than ASU allowed in 2005.  Also, the Sun Devils allowed only 116.6 rushing yards-per-game, 63.2 fewer yards than the 2005 squad allowed and the team's lowest season average since 1997. Under Stretz's tutelage, ASU's 2006 defensive line nearly tripled its sacks production from the previous season (17.5 in 2006, 6.0 in 2005).


On the year, ASU's starting defensive line consisting of senior defensive end Kyle Caldwell, redshirt freshman defensive end Dexter Davis, senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill and junior defensive tackle Michael Marquardt combined for 114 total tackles, 23.5 tackles-for-loss and 12.5 sacks. Following the 2006 regular season, Caldwell and Marquardt earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors, while Davis pulled in Honorable Mention Freshman All-America and First-Team Pac-10 All-Freshman accolades by The Sporting News.


While at New Mexico, Stretz coached the defensive line from 1998-2002 and then mentored the safeties and special teams units from 2003-05. Stretz played a key role in enabling the Lobos to become one of only three teams in the nation to finish in the top-30 in total defense in six of the seven seasons spanning from 1999-2005.


As an athlete, Stretz was a four-year letterwinner at UCLA, and a member of its 1993 Rose Bowl team.  As a senior in 1995, Stretz earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors playing defensive tackle for the Bruins.


Stretz joins cornerbacks coach Al Simmons as those who have officially been named to Erickson's coaching staff. Erickson 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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