Arizona State hires Missouri assistant Aaron Fletcher as new DB coach
The Sun Devils have reportedly found their new defensive backs coach.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, Missouri assistant coach Aaron Fletcher is set to join the Arizona State staff. He’ll replace Donnie Henderson, who was coaching the ASU defensive backs on an interim basis after the suspension of Chris Hawkins.
Sources: Missouri corners coach Aaron Fletcher has agreed to become the defensive backs coach at Arizona State.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 13, 2022
Hawkins remains on paid administrative leave pending an NCAA investigation into ASU recruiting. Henderson, per The Athletic’s Doug Haller, is expected to remain with the Sun Devils in some capacity.
Fletcher just wrapped his first season on the Mizzou coaching staff as the Tigers’ secondary coach. The Missouri defense gave up the fifth-fewest passing yards per game among SEC teams in 2021.
Prior to joining the Tigers’ staff, he was the Tulsa defensive backs coach for six seasons (2015-20) and an assistant at Houston Baptist before that (2012-14).
In 2018, the Golden Hurricanes’ pass defense ranked first in the AAC for pass yards allowed per game (174.6, the eighth-best mark in the country). In 2019 they ranked fifth and in 2020 they ranked second in the conference, allowing just 189.6 yards per game (18th nationally).
Fletcher coached Reggie Robinson II to first-team All-AAC honors in 2019, and he’d later become Tulsa’s first NFL Draft pick in a decade and its highest in 15 years when the Dallas Cowboys selected him in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Arizona State secondary performed well this past season, as it allowed just under 195 passing yards per game, the third-best mark in the Pac-12. The ASU pass defense also ranked 20th nationally in yards allowed per game. There’s talent there for Fletcher to work with.
At UT, Fletcher also developed and executed ‘The Legacy of Black Wall Street,’ an initiative to bring awareness to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. Each season, Tulsa’s second home game is dedicated to ‘The Legacy of Black Wall Street.’
Update (Jan. 19):
Arizona State has officially announced Fletcher’s hiring.
15+ years of coaching experience coming to The Valley.
Welcome to Tempe, Coach Fletch! 🔱🏜 pic.twitter.com/eBpHs2yMzc
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) January 19, 2022
“I cannot thank Coach (Herm) Edwards and Ray Anderson enough for allowing my family and I an opportunity to be a part of the prestigious Sun Devil Football program in the great community of Tempe,” Fletcher said in a release.
“Football has been a ministry of sorts to me and has provided me an opportunity to grow not only as a man, husband, and father, but also a mentor, brother, friend, coach, and student. Football is a vessel that has bridged many gaps not just in athletics but from socioeconomics, social, and an educational standpoint. The game since its inception has brought together communities and grown tremendous leaders, and my wife and I are so happy to have our family be a part of a program being led by a visionary such as Coach Herm Edwards.
“I look forward to meeting with our players and joining the culture that’s been established; and working with the staff at ASU while taking the program to the next level with the support of our community and the great state of Arizona! Forks Up!”