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Arizona State coaching staff experiences shakeup amid NCAA investigation into Sun Devils program

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State
Matt Kartozian / USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State has been under NCAA investigation for more than a year after allegedly hosting recruits during the COVID-19 pandemic dead period. That investigation has now resulted in a massive staff shakeup. 

Wide receivers coach Prentice Gill and secondary coach Chris Hawkins were fired with cause for violations of their work agreements, 247Sports confirmed on Friday. Additionally, offensive coordinator Zak Hill and tight ends coach Adam Breneman resigned from their positions with the Sun Devils. The coaches were previously placed on administrative leave. 

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards later announced that he has elevated graduate assistant Bobby Wade to wide receivers coach and interim tight ends coach Juston Wood to the permanent role. 

“Both of these young men are up-and-comers in the coaching profession and both possess a bright future,” said Edwards. “Both are young, energetic and have a passion that is a perfect fit on our staff. I look forward to seeing them thrive in our program.”

Wade is a former wide receiver for the Arizona Wildcats and spent eight years in the NFL from 2003-10. He has served as a graduate assistant on Edwards’ staff for each of the last two seasons.

“My goal would be to help grow this group into one of the best units in the Pac-12 and eventually the entire nation,” Wade said. “That would put us in a great position to be contenders for a National Championship each year. More than that, I want to build strong relationships with these young people that are going through a lot of changes and transitions in their lives. Finding a way to be a steady, consistent presence in their world each and every day with positivity and really good energy.”

Wood, 42, has also spent the last two seasons on Edwards’ staff, and has worked in various roles at Boise State, Georgia Southern and Cal Poly.

Arizona State is accused of paying for prospects to visit the campus in Tempe and having in-person contact with them while the NCAA was in a dead period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Coaches are also accused of making visits to players and their families during the dead period, which was in effect from April 2020 through June 2021.

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