Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham and construction team members lead a media tour of the new football building being built in the north end zone of Sun Devil Stadium on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
From the time Arizona State walked off the football field in Tucson on Nov. 25 following a 56-35 loss to Arizona, ending a 5-7 season, there has been significant changes to the roster and coaching staff.
Some key seniors left ASU when they graduated: Laiu Moeakiola, Tim White and Kody Kohl, among them.
Still others chose to transfer out of the program.
Here’s a look at the departing players as well as changes on the coaching staff:
Seniors who finished their college careers in 2016
- Defensive end Edmond Boateng
- Defensive lineman Tramel Topps
- Receiver Frederick Gammage
- Tight end Kody Kohl
- Linebacker Salamo Fiso
- Offensive lineman Evan Goodman
- Offensive lineman Stephon McCray
- Linebacker Carlos Mendoza
- Linebacker Laiu Moeakiola
- Receiver Tim White
- Defensive back De’Chavon Hayes
- Defensive back Eric Lauderdale
- Linebacker Brandon Mathews
Two others left the program as graduate transfers
Three others announced they were leaving
Bryce Perkins, who missed last season due to a neck injury, was among six quarterbacks on the roster. He tweeted a goodbye to ASU fans on May 13. His next stop is unknown at this time.
More significatnly, two key starters in the defensive backfield are leaving ASU: Armand Perry, whose injuries forced his retirement, and Kareem Orr, who is transferring to Chattanooga, an FCS program in his hometown for what he said were ‘personal reasons’.
Coaching staff turnover
The roster moves came on the heels of yet another ‘silly season’ in college football, when the coaching carousel kicks into high gear around the holidays and the new year.
For the second year in a row, Todd Graham hired an assistant coach only to see him accept another job elsewhere in a matter of weeks. Josh Henson was the offensive analyst at Oklahoma State in 2016. ASU then hired Henson to coach the offensive line when Chris Thomsen left for his alma mater, TCU. Henson was in Tempe less than a month before he promptly returned to his alma mater to coach the Cowboys offensive line. A year ago, it was Kodi Burns, who was hired by Graham from Middle Tennessee State to coach running backs, only to leave about six weeks later for Auburn, his alma mater.
Graham’s first staff departure last year came on Dec. 7, less than two weeks after the season ended, when receivers coach Jay Norvell left ASU to take over the Nevada football program. Norvell was at ASU one season.
About two weeks after that, on Dec. 20, ASU hired Kansas OC Rob Likens to coach wide receivers.
On Jan. 11, Graham hired Baylor’s Phil Bennett to be his new defensive coordinator, replacing Keith Patterson, who remains on the ASU staff as linebackers coach.
Another key coaching move included the loss of offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, who left for the same job at Auburn, after one season in Tempe. Lindsey left on Jan. 21. On Jan. 28, ASU had his replacement with the hiring of Alabama wide receivers coach Billy Napier as offensive coordinator.
Also, tight ends coach DelVaughn Alexander left ASU to coach wide receivers at Notre Dame under new Irish offensive coordinator Chip Long, who was Graham’s recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach for four seasons (2012-15) before spending last season as former ASU offensive coordinator Mike Norvell‘s offensive coordinator at Memphis.
ASU concluded spring football with the new coaching staff in place. Perkins, Perry and Orr made their announcements after the spring. ASU opens fall practice on Sunday, July 30 in Tempe. The Sun Devils head to Camp Tontozona on July 31.
The season starts on Thursday, Aug. 31 against New Mexico State.