ASU linebackers coach Antonio Pierce shouts during the first half of the Pac-12 college football game against Stanford at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on October 18, 2018.

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Arizona State DC Antonio Pierce is latest to leave during probe

Arizona State defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce no longer is employed at the Pac-12 school, the university told media outlets on Wednesday.

Pierce, who reportedly resigned his post, is the fifth assistant coach to depart Herm Edwards’ staff while the NCAA investigates the program’s recruiting practices.

Previously leaving were offensive coordinator Zak Hill, tight ends coach Adam Breneman, secondary coach Chris Hawkins and wide receivers assistant Prentice Gill. Hill and Breneman resigned while Hawkins and Gill were fired.

The five were among six coaches mentioned in NCAA allegations. They are alleged to have engaged in widespread recruiting violations, including traveling outside the state of Arizona for recruiting purposes during a period in which it was not allowed.

According to reports, NCAA documents show that Edwards also participated in unsanctioned meetings. He is now the lone coach of the six who remains employed at Arizona State.

Pierce, 43, initially was hired as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator after Edwards was hired as coach in December of 2017. Pierce was co-defensive coordinator in 2020 and ran the defense this past season.

Pierce, a linebacker, played nine NFL seasons with Washington (2001-04) and the New York Giants (2005-2009). He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2006.

Gill has appealed his firing, which could lead to a wrongful termination claim, according to 247sports.com.

Pierce’s resignation also came on National Signing Day, with Arizona State forecast to have the worst class of the 12-member Pac-12.

–Field Level Media