Feb. 9, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. – Ron West has been named to the Arizona State University football coaching staff, head coach Todd Graham announced Thursday. With over 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, West most recently served at the University of New Mexico after spending the previous two years at the University of Illinois.
West comes to Arizona State after spending two seasons as the outside linebackers coach at Illinois and inside linebackers coach at New Mexico. He came to Illinois in 2010 with over 30 years of collegiate experience, including 15 years on defense - eight as a coordinator - and 16 years on the offensive side of the ball.
In 2011, the Fighting Illini finished seventh in the nation in total defense with West's linebackers helping to lead the charge, allowing just 286.15 total yards per game and holding its opponents to just 4.42 yards per play. Illinois was third in passing yards allowed per game at 162.31 ypg and finished 26th in rushing yards allowed per game with 123.85 ypg.
In 2011, bandit Michael Buchanan had a breakout season with 64 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. He ranked fifth in the Big Ten in sacks and eighth in TFLs.
In 2010, West guided Sam linebacker Nate Bussey, a seventh-round NFL draft pick and an All-Big Ten honorable mention selection after totaling 83 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and an interception returned for a touchdown. Buchanan also posted a strong season with 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Before coming to Illinois, West spent the 2009 season as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tulsa alongside Todd Graham. Prior to moving to Tulsa, he spent 10 seasons on the coaching staff at Clemson University (1999-2008), helping the Tigers win 76 games and play in nine bowl games. A 1979 graduate of Clemson, West began his stint on the Tigers' coaching staff as offensive line coach in 1999. He coached the offensive line for five seasons and spent the final five on the defensive side of the ball.
While on the defensive coaching staff at Clemson, West coached the outside linebackers. In 2005, the Clemson defense finished among the top-25 in six defensive categories. In 2006, West coached one of the greatest players in Clemson history, the late Gaines Adams, who became the No. 2 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft.
The 2004 Clemson defense was in the top-25 in all four major categories, including a top-10 finish in scoring defense and total defense. Clemson's defense ranked 18th in total defense and 13th in scoring defense in 2008.
Before arriving at Clemson, West spent two years on Tommy Bowden's coaching staff at Tulane University (1997-98), where he coached the offensive line. His influence as line coach in '97 saw the Green Wave total nearly 4,700 yards and a school record 375 points. A year later, Tulane posted a 12-0 record as the offensive line helped pave the way for an offense to average over 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards.
West began his coaching career as a graduate assistant coach at West Alabama in 1979. He was at East Carolina in the spring of 1980 and became the offensive line coach at North Texas for the 1980 season. In 1981, West joined the Texas Tech coaching staff as the offensive line coach and coached special teams. He served in that capacity for four years before moving to defense in 1985 as the assistant linebackers coach.
His next stop was at Louisiana-Lafayette where he spent seven seasons (1986-92) as defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach. His defenses were ranked among the nation's top-20 in total defense three times. West joined the Baylor coaching staff for four seasons (1993-96) as offensive line coach and served as the running game coordinator in his final year.
During his playing career, West was a reserve offensive lineman in 1977 and 1978 for the Clemson Tigers after transferring from Marion Institute, where he earned junior college All-America accolades. He started two games as a senior and helped his team post an 11-1 record and earn a No. 6 national ranking in the final Associated Press poll.
West and his wife Becky have two adult children, Brad and Lori.