Arizona State Officially Hires Keith Patterson from West Virginia

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIIFebruary 7, 2014

Oct 5, 2013; Waco, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers defensive coordinator Keith Patterson watches his team warm up before the game against the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium. The Bears defeated the Mountaineers 73-42. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One of the top defensive teams in the Pac-12 Conference, the Arizona State Sun Devils, have brought on a new defensive coordinator.

ASU officially announced the hiring of Keith Patterson as defensive coordinator, linebackers and defensive special teams coach Friday.

News of Patterson's departure from West Virginia surfaced Thursday, as reported by Allan Taylor of WV MetroNews. Now, his move to Todd Graham's staff in Tempe is official.

Patterson spent the 2012 season as the co-defensive coordinator in Morgantown and became the solo coordinator for 2013. 

WVU yielded 454.3 yards per game in 2013, but that was nearly a 20-yard improvement from 2014.

Before heading to Morgantown, Patterson was a defensive coordinator under Graham at Pittsburgh and was briefly the Panthers' interim head coach after Graham departed for Arizona State.

ASU's release of Patterson's hiring highlighted several shifts on the coaching staff.

Patterson will take the slot left vacant by cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Joe Lorig, who left for Utah State.

While Patterson will oversee the defense, Graham will also have input, as will co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball. 

Arizona State finished No. 4 in the Pac-12 in total defense last year, allowing just 372.4 yards per game. However, the Sun Devils will move on without several top defenders.

Leading tackler Chris Young and top defensive backs Alden Darby and Robert Nelson will be gone. As will defensive tackle Will Sutton, a two-time Pac-12 defensive player of the year, and star linebacker Carl Bradford.

With several key pieces departing, Patterson will have his work cut out for him against the vaunted Pac-12 offenses next season.

However, his established rapport with Graham should provide a relatively smooth transition.