Arizona State hires West Virginia's Keith Patterson as DC

By Jerry Hinnen | Staff Writer

Keith Patterson's only West Virginia defense finished 92nd in yards-per-play allowed. (USATSI)
Keith Patterson's only West Virginia defense finished 92nd in yards-per-play allowed. (USATSI)
Todd Graham and Keith Patterson have worked together at two different schools already -- and unfortunately for Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia , the longtime colleagues are about to make it a third.

On Friday Arizona State officially announced the hiring of Patterson, the Mountaineers' 2013 defensive coordinator, as the new Sun Devils' defensive coordinator, linebackers coach, and "defensive special teams coach." Patterson replaces former Arizona State cornerbacks and special teams coach Joe Lorig, now on staff at Utah State.

In his lone season in Morgantown, Patterson helped the Mountaineers take a small step forward their disastrous 2012 defensive season, taking them from 117th in scoring defense to 99th and from 106th to 92nd in yards per-play allowed. But as noted by CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman, Patterson's departure means West Virginia will now enter 2014 with its fourth defensive coordinator in four seasons under Holgorsen.

According to the Sun Devils' announcement, Graham and Patterson "have a professional and personal relationship that goes back to East Central University where they were college roommates." Patterson and Graham worked alongside each other during Graham's head coaching tenures both at Tulsa and at Pitt, where Patterson served as defensive coordinator and -- after Graham's departure for Tempe -- interim head coach.

Patterson inherits a defense that took a large step backwards in Graham's second season, going from 17th in yards per-play allowed in 2012 to 67th in 2013.

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