Antonio Pierce named Arizona State Sun Devils' solo defensive coordinator; Marvin Lewis stays on staff

Arizona State has promoted Antonio Pierce to the sole defensive coordinator role, while Marvin Lewis will remain on staff as special assistant to coach Herm Edwards.

Pierce, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the New York Giants, served as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach alongside Lewis last season. He's also Arizona State's recruiting coordinator and associate head coach, and has been instrumental in the team's recruiting uptick under Edwards.

Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals head coach from 2003 to 2018, recently interviewed for head-coaching vacancies with the New York Jets, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, and interviewed for the Dallas Cowboys' head-coaching spot a year ago. He joined Arizona State's staff in 2019 as a special adviser to Edwards, before becoming defensive coordinator last fall. Arizona State played just four games in 2020, but led the Pac-12 in fewest points allowed (23.2 ppg), and collected 13 takeaways.

"I am looking forward to this new challenge and opportunity to be the defensive coordinator at Arizona State," Pierce said in a statement. "I have learned so much from Coach Lewis and Coach Edwards during my time here and can't wait to apply that knowledge in this new role. We are excited about the group that we have returning and can't wait to continue to bring in talented Sun Devils."

Pierce played nine years in the NFL for the Giants and Washington Football Team, and helped lead New York to a Super Bowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots. Before joining the ASU staff, he was head coach at California powerhouse Long Beach Poly High.