WALNUT CREEK, Calif.—In a vote of the league’s coaches, Arizona State senior tackle Will Sutton was named the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year for the second-consecutive season and Arizona State head coach Todd Graham was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, the conference announced today.
The Sun Devils had a total of 17 players named to the All-Pac-12 Conference team, tied for most honorees in school history. In 1997, ASU also had 17 players honored by the Pac-10/12.
Sutton is only the second two-time defensive player of the year honoree in Pac-12 history. The consensus All-American joins Washington’s Steve Emtman as a two-time recipient of the highest conference defensive honor named after the late ASU linebacker Pat Tillman.
Despite facing double teams nearly every snap this season, Sutton has record 42 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, a fumble recovery, three passes defensed and an interception to seal the come-from-behind victory on the road at Utah.
An Arizona State student-athlete has been honored as the top defensive player in the conference six times between five athletes, including Sutton’s back-to-back honors.
After leading Arizona State to its first 10-2 record since 2007 in his second season as head coach, Graham was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Including Saturday’s Territorial Cup® victory over Arizona, the Sun Devils have scored 50-plus points in six games on the season and scored all-time highs in wins over USC and Arizona.The Sun Devils have also reached six conference victories for only the fourth time in their 36-year membership of the Pac-10/12 Conference.
Graham is the fourth Arizona State head coach to win Pac-12 Coach of the Year following John Cooper in 1986, Bruce Snyder in 1996 and most recently Dennis Erickson in 2007. At Rice, Graham earned 2006 Conference USA Coach of the Year honors after leading the team to its first bowl appearance in 45 seasons.
Arizona State had six players named to the first-team All-Pac-12. Tight end Chris Coyle and center Evan Finkenberg earned first-team offensive honors, while Sutton, safety Alden Darby, and defensive back Robert Nelson were named to the first team on defense. Freshman Zane Gonzalez, who set the new ASU record for most consecutive field goals made (18), also earned first-team honors.
PAC-12 ALL CONFERENCE HONORS
Defensive tackle Will Sutton, Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
Head coach Todd Graham, Pac-12 Coach of the Year
First Team Honors
TE Chris Coyle, Grad., Arizona State
OL Evan Finkenberg, Grad., Arizona State
DL Will Sutton, Sr., Arizona State (2)
DB Alden Darby, Sr., Arizona State
DB Robert Nelson, Sr., Arizona State
PK Zane Gonzalez, Fr., Arizona State
Second Team Honors
QB Taylor Kelly, Jr., Arizona State
RB Marion Grice, Sr., Arizona State
WR Jaelen Strong, So., Arizona State
OL Jamil Douglas, Jr., Arizona State
LB Carl Bradford, Jr., Arizona State
LB Chris Young, Sr., Arizona State
DB Osahon Irabor, Grad., Arizona State
DL Davon Coleman, Grad., Arizona State
DL Gannon Conway, Sr., Arizona State
ST D.J. Foster, So., Arizona State
ST De’Marieya Nelson, Jr., Arizona State