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Report: ASU co-defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce, a former Wildcat, interested in Arizona opening

antonio-pierce-arizona-wildcats-asu-sun-devils-defensive-coordinator-kevin-sumlin-2020-herm-edwards Courtesy

Might Antonio Pierce be will to cross back over the Arizona/ASU rivalry line?

Jacob Rudner of is reporting that Pierce, ASU’s co-defensive coordinator, “has had serious conversations” UA officials about replacing Kevin Sumlin as football coach. Per Rudner, a decision could be made by as soon as Thursday between Pierce, San Jose State coach Brent Brennan and New England Patriots quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch.

Pierce, 42, has been at ASU since 2018 when he was hired by head coach Herm Edwards to coach the Sun Devils’ linebackers and serve as recruiting coordinator. In 2020 he was elevated to co-DC alongside former Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis.

He began his coaching career in 2014 as head coach of Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High School, a regional football power that routinely produces top college talent.

Pierce played linebacker for the UA in 1999-2000, then spent nine seasons in the NFL. His relationship with his alma mater has reportedly soured over the years, starting with how the school parted ways with former coach Dick Tomey after the 2000 season.