Arizona State has agreed to a 3-year extension with defensive coordinator Brian Ward, the program announced on Friday. Ward’s new contract runs through the 2026 season.

Ward is in his first season with the Sun Devils. He was previous the defensive coordinator at Washington State.

ASU’s defense has been excellent this season in despite having numerous newcomers to the program. The Sun Devils are allowing just 5.15 yards per play this year, which ranks No. 3 in the Pac-12 entering Week 10.

“All levels of the organization – including the university president, athletics director, football general manager, and head coach – understand the necessity for stability at key coaching positions in this era. With so much evolution in conference realignment, NIL, the transfer portal, etc., it is more important than ever to instill and continuously develop winning culture,” deputy athletic director and Sun Devil Football’s general manager Jean Boyd said in a press release. “The primary guardians of culture in our football program are the coaches, and maintaining a high level of continuity has never been more critical. We will continue to be aggressive in our coaching staff retention efforts.”

As part of this announcement, Arizona State also said it will seek Arizona Board of Regents approval to extend Kenny Dillingham’s contract by 1 year through the 2028 season. That extension is as a result of the bowl ban that ASU will serve at the end of the 2023 campaign.

Arizona State is 2-6 so far this season. The Sun Devils will face Utah on the road on Saturday.