North Carolina

North Carolina hires Arizona State's West

Posted February 9, 2013
Updated February 14, 2013

North Carolina Logo

— North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora has hired Ron West as the Tar Heels’ co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. West, who coached previously with Fedora at Baylor and defensive coaches Vic Koenning and Dan Disch at Illinois, comes to Chapel Hill after a year at Arizona State where he served as the Sun Devils’ co-defensive coordinator.

“Ron is familiar with our staff and he brings a great deal of success and experience from his previous coaching stops,” said Fedora. “He’s an excellent teacher of defensive fundamentals who gets the most out of his players. His knowledge of the ACC and ability to recruit in this area of the country will help our program.”

Fedora also named Randy Jordan as the special teams coordinator and changed responsibilities among Carolina’s defensive assistants.

Koenning, who also worked with West at Clemson (2005-08), will continue in his role as UNC’s associate head coach for defense, but will now coach the safeties. Dan Disch continues as the defensive coordinator and will coach cornerbacks. Keith Gilmore was hired last week as the defensive line coach. All four defensive coaches have worked together at some point in their careers.

A 1979 Clemson graduate, West was an assistant coach for 10 seasons (1999-2008) with the Tigers where he worked with Koenning from 2005-08. Clemson won 76 games and played in nine bowl games during his tenure.

In 2012, Arizona State finished third in the country in pass defense, allowing just 167.9 yards per game, 10th in pass efficiency defense (105.5 rating) and was 27th overall in total defense (350.7 ypg). The Sun Devils led the nation in tackles for losses, ranked second in sacks and fourth in passes intercepted. Before West’s arrival in Tempe, Arizona State was 91st in total defense, 59th in sacks and 57th in tackle for loss.

West helped develop linebacker Brandon Magee into a first-team All-Pac-12 performer. Magee led the team with 113 tackles, including 12.5 tackles for losses and 6.5 sacks.

West has more than 30 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 17 on defense and nine as a coordinator. He also has coached 16 years on the offensive side of the ball. West was the outside linebackers coach at Illinois from 2010-11. West spent the 2009 season as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Tulsa.

West implemented the Devil position at ASU, which is modeled after the Bandit, a linebacker role that he had great success with in both the Big 10 and the ACC at Illinois and Clemson, respectively. His defenses at both universities recorded top-10 national finishes in total defense and enabled numerous players to garner both All-America and All-Conference accolades, as well as find success in the professional ranks.

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 also third in passing yards allowed per game at 162.31 ypg and finished 26th in rushing yards allowed per game with 123.85 ypg.

Illinois Bandit Michael Buchanan had a breakout 2011 season, registering 64 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks en route to second-team All-Big Ten honors. He ranked fifth in the Big Ten in sacks and eighth in TFLs.

In 2010, West guided Fighting Illini linebacker Nate Bussey to a seventh-round NFL draft selection and All-Big Ten honorable mention recognition after totaling 83 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and an interception returned for a touchdown. Buchanan also posted a strong season in 2010 with 40 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

While on the defensive coaching staff at Clemson, where West coached the outside linebackers for five seasons, his defenses ranked in the top 25 in total defense three times. The 2004 defense ranked in the top-25 in all four major categories, including a top-10 finish in scoring defense and total defense, and his 2005 Tigers' defense finished among the top 25 in six defensive categories. Clemson's defense also placed 18th in total defense and 13th in scoring defense in 2008.

In 2006, West coached one of the greatest players in Clemson history, the late Gaines Adams, who excelled in the Bandit system and became the No. 4 overall pick in the 2007 NFL draft. Adams was named to all five All-America teams in 2006 and was recognized as one of seven unanimous first-team All-Americans that year. He started all 12 games that season, recording an ACC-best 12.5 sacks, causing two fumbles and recovering three. He finished his career with 28 total sacks to tie the school record set in 1984-87.

West began his stint on the Tigers' coaching staff as offensive line coach in 1999, and coached the offensive line for five seasons and spent the final five on the defensive side of the ball.

West helped Clemson to a number of big victories during his tenure, including a 63-17 win over South Carolina in Columbus, S.C., in 2003, marking one of the biggest defeats in legendary coach Lou Holtz's career. West's offensive line helped pave the way in that game as the Tigers scored the most points by either team in the 100-plus years of the cross-state series. Other notable wins include a 26-10 win over No. 3 Florida State and a 27-14 win over No. 7 Tennessee in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl in 2003, as well as a 24-17 overtime win at No. 10 Miami in 2004.

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.

A 1979 graduate of Clemson, West was a reserve offensive lineman in 1977 and 1978 for the Clemson Tigers. 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. His playing career began at Marion Institute, where he earned junior college All-America accolades before transferring to Clemson.

West and his wife Becky have two adult children, Brad and Lori.

7 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • ugottabkiddinme Feb 10, 6:38 p.m.

    anything HAS to be an improvement to that defense...that's what held this team back last year, yet they still would have made the ACC championship game if it wasn't for prior knuckleheads ..GO HEELS!!

  • Ken D. Feb 10, 1:13 p.m.

    He has moved around a lot either not that good or he just likes to change jobs. They need... View More

    — Posted by iron fist

    There is more continuity here. Before he returned to Clemson when Tommy Bowden was hired, he had been on Bowden's staff at Tulane. While at Illinois, he worked under then defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, who joined the UNC staff when the Illini coach was fired. He (Koenning) was invited to retain the DC position at Illinois under its new coach, but declined to join Fedora at UNC.

    This guy isn't a job hopper. He seems to have loyalty to the head coaches and coordinators he has worked with, and they in turn seem to want to bring him along when they go someplace new. That's a good sign.

  • BeastOnTheHill Feb 10, 9:24 a.m.

    Exactly what we need is to fix that awful defense.
    You go Larry!

  • Ken D. Feb 10, 9:01 a.m.

    He was at Clemson for ten years. As with most assistants, when their head coach is fired or takes a better job, the assistants have to find a new home. I think that's the case here with Clemson, Illinois and Tulsa. He's a Clemson grad, so his roots are in the ACC.

  • iron fist Feb 9, 8:22 p.m.

    He has moved around a lot either not that good or he just likes to change jobs. They need someone who will commit to the team and stick around for a few years

  • kornfan2448 Feb 9, 6:21 p.m.

    Looks like a pretty good resume to me. Good to see the additions to the defensive coaching staff since they seemed to struggle last year. Should be another good year!

  • Tar Heels Victory-Show No Mercer Feb 9, 5:54 p.m.

    Fedora is putting together a defensive staff for next Season. It will be fun on the HILL next year!

    GO HEELS!!

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Today at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke at Virginia

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • Super Bowl: Seattle vs. New England

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
2nd
GT 62
NCSU 58
 
4:00pm Today
LOU
UNC
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
DUKE
7:00pm Tonight
ETST
NCCU
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHA
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
IND
SAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
TOR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
HOU
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
PHI
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CLE
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
OKC
8:30pm Tonight
MIL
POR
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHA
9:00pm Tonight
SAN
LAC
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
PHO
2nd
TENN 47
AUB 48
 
2nd
CLEM 58
BC 40
 
2nd
STJOE 56
DAVID 57
 
2nd
GT 62
NCSU 58
 
2nd
PITT 68
ND 63
 
2nd
STJ 59
PROV 55
 
Final
UNH 63
USB 48
 
2nd
WVU 57
TTU 39
 
2nd
TEMPL 51
TULA 33
 
2nd
EMICH 61
WMICH 54
 
2nd
IOWA 57
WISC 69
 
2nd
SHU 68
XAV 67
 
1st
UF 21
ARK 24
 
1st
STET 26
LIP 34
 
1st
ILL 18
PSU 18
 
1st
TULSA 26
SFLA 26
 
1st
INDST 18
BRAD 21
 
2:00pm Today
MAINE
GTDNS
 
2:00pm Today
UGST
ARKST
 
2:00pm Today
LEH
BU
 
2:00pm Today
MARQ
BUT
2:00pm Today
DEL
COC
 
2:00pm Today
CREI
GEOR
2:00pm Today
CLST
UWGB
 
2:00pm Today
NEOM
MAST
 
2:00pm Today
LOYC
ILLST
 
2:00pm Today
KU
KYST
2:00pm Today
JVU
KNST
 
2:00pm Today
MSST
LSU
2:00pm Today
SHU
MNTER
 
2:00pm Today
VCU
RICH
2:00pm Today
ISU
TCU
2:00pm Today
BING
MLOWELL
 
2:00pm Today
HART
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
DEP
VILL
2:00pm Today
WAKE
VT
3:00pm Today
FAM
COOK
 
3:00pm Today
NDAK
IDST
 
3:00pm Today
ARMY
GHND
 
3:00pm Today
BEL
TENT
 
3:00pm Today
TXSA
UAB
3:00pm Today
ILLCH
VALPO
 
3:05pm Today
DRAK
EVAN
 
3:15pm Today
IND
RUTG
3:30pm Today
UMO
BST
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
BRY
 
4:00pm Today
WAGN
CCST
 
4:00pm Today
GWEBB
CCAR
 
4:00pm Today
MDES
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
RFLSH
FD
 
4:00pm Today
RIU
GWU
4:00pm Today
SCAR
UGA
4:00pm Today
Terriers
LIU
 
4:00pm Today
PAC
LMU
 
4:00pm Today
STLU
UMASS
4:00pm Today
HOW
MRGST
 
4:00pm Today
DREX
UNCW
 
4:00pm Today
LOU
UNC
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
MISS
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
SOUTH
 
4:00pm Today
NIOWA
WICHS
4:00pm Today
JMU
WMARY
 
4:00pm Today
RAD
WINT
 
4:15pm Today
EILL
SIUE
 
4:30pm Today
UNCA
CAMP
 
4:30pm Today
MORE
EKENT
 
4:30pm Today
NICST
INCWORD
 
4:30pm Today
CMICH
OHIO
 
4:30pm Today
TEXAM
VANDY
5:00pm Tonight
UWMIL
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
LAMON
SALA
 
5:00pm Tonight
UNCG
WCU
 
5:05pm Tonight
EWASH
IDAHO
 
5:30pm Tonight
SDKST
DEN
 
5:30pm Tonight
SHSU
HOUB
 
5:30pm Tonight
MVSU
JST
 
5:30pm Tonight
TXST
LALAF
 
5:30pm Tonight
LATU
MARS
5:30pm Tonight
SD
ORU
 
6:00pm Tonight
PVU
ALAAM
 
6:00pm Tonight
GRAM
ARKPB
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
DART
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCST
DELST
 
6:00pm Tonight
COLST
FRES
6:00pm Tonight
NORST
HAMP
 
6:00pm Tonight
MINN
NEB
6:00pm Tonight
WYO
NEV
6:00pm Tonight
SAV
NCAT
 
6:00pm Tonight
GAELS
PEPP
 
6:00pm Tonight
NW
PURD
6:00pm Tonight
BAY
TEX
6:00pm Tonight
CHAT
CITA
 
6:00pm Tonight
SMISS
WKENT
6:00pm Tonight
CORN
YALE
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAM
ABCHRIST
 
7:00pm Tonight
BGU
AKR
 
7:00pm Tonight
KENT
ALA
7:00pm Tonight
CLMB
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CSOU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
DUKE
7:00pm Tonight
NE
ELON
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
FIU
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
FATL
7:00pm Tonight
SAMF
FUR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUQ
GMAS
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
LBSU
HAW
 
7:00pm Tonight
BONA
LAS
7:00pm Tonight
NAVY
LAF
 
7:00pm Tonight
PBY
LONG
 
7:00pm Tonight
WOFF
MERC
 
7:00pm Tonight
ETST
NCCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MCNST
NO
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
PETE
 
7:00pm Tonight
STEPH
TAMCC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
USCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
ARKLR
 
8:00pm Tonight
UCR
CSNO
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
NWST
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKST
OKLA
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
RICE
8:00pm Tonight
SDU
USF
 
8:00pm Tonight
NMU
SJST
8:00pm Tonight
PEAY
SEMIZ
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
TOL
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOF
TOWS
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
UCF
8:00pm Tonight
MURST
TENNM
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDST
UTST
8:05pm Tonight
MIZST
SILL
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
TROY
 
8:30pm Tonight
TXSOU
ALAST
 
8:30pm Tonight
TENST
JVST
 
8:30pm Tonight
WASU
STAN
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
CHIST
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
MTST
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
NARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
BYU
SCU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
TXPA
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
WEBER
 
10:00pm Tonight
UNLV
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
CPSL
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
MEM
10:00pm Tonight
CALST
SEAT
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
UCSB
 
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
MONT
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
MNTST
 
10:30pm Tonight
UCLA
COL
10:30pm Tonight
WLVRN
UMKC
 
2:00pm Today
DET
NYI
3:00pm Today
OTT
ARI
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
WIN
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
FLA
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
LOS
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
TOR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
CLB
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CHI