Utah State football announces defensive coordinator hire

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Aggie football has a new defensive coordinator for the 2018 season, head coach Matt Wells announced on Tuesday.

Keith Patterson, most recently of Arizona State University, will be taking the reigns left behind by former co-defensive coordinator Kendrick Shaver, who accepted a position on the Washington State coaching staff this offseason.

“Keith’s experience as a defensive coordinator and aggressive style will mesh very well with coach (co-defensive coordinator Frank) Maile and our current staff,” Wells said. “Keith and I have spent several years coaching together previously and I know his work ethic, passion and energy will fit perfect into our Utah State football culture. We are excited to have Keith and Melissa as part of our Aggie football family.”

During his coaching career, Patterson has coached in 11 bowl games, including three of his four years with Arizona State.

“I am excited to become a member of the Utah State family,” Patterson said. “I have tremendous respect for Coach Wells, the staff and players in this program. I look forward to helping build upon the success and foundation that has already been established.”

Under Patterson’s tenure as coordinator and linebackers coach, multiple Sun Devil defenders earned all-Pac 12 honors. Last season, Arizona State finished second in the conference in third-down conversion percentage allowed and first in fourth-down conversion percentage. The defense also finished near the top of the nation in sacks per game, turnover margin and interceptions at different points of Patterson’s tenure.

Patterson began his collegiate coaching career at Tulsa after nine years coaching high school football in Oklahoma and Texas. In 2011, Patterson spent one season at Pittsburgh — where he was the interim head coach in the BBVA Compass Bowl — before moving to West Virginia, where he remained until the 2014 move to Arizona State.

In addition to his work as defensive coordinator, Patterson will coach the safety position. Maile will continue to coach the defensive line, with assistant coach Julius Brown coaching the cornerbacks and linebackers coach Stacy Collins filling out the defensive coaching roster.

The team is scheduled to begin its season on the road against the Michigan State Spartans on August 31.


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