Missouri’s Aaron Fletcher named defensive backs coach at Arizona State

There’s one less interim coach on Arizona State’s football coaching staff, as Aaron Fletcher has officially been named defensive backs coach.

Fletcher fills the void temporarily filled last season by Donnie Henderson, who was on staff as a consultant but was promoted to interim manager after coach Chris Hawkins was furloughed administrative.

Hawkins was one of three coaches furloughed due to the NCAA’s investigation into alleged recruiting violations. The other two – Adam Breneman and Prentice Gill have also been replaced by interim coaches, with the status of those positions still up in the air.

Fletcher recently spent the 2021 season as an assistant coach at Missouri, working with the high school. While at Columbia, the Tigers allowed just 206.7 passing yards/game, good enough for 29th nationally.

His unit completed 11 passes, which ranked among the top 50 nationally, despite facing the 17th-fewest number of opposing pass attempts nationally. Compare that to the 2020 season before Fletcher arrived, in which the Tigers allowed more than 245 yards per game and just four interceptions.

“I can’t thank Coach Edwards and (Athletic Director) Ray Anderson enough for allowing me and my family to be part of the prestigious Sun Devil football program in the greater community of Tempe,” Fletcher said in the school press release.

Prior to his move to Missouri, Fletcher spent the past 15 years coaching at the college and high school levels, including a run in Tulsa from 2015-2020.

During his coaching career, Fletcher not only made an impact on the pitch, but also in the community and in the lives of his players. While in Tulsa, Fletcher developed and executed ‘The Legacy of Black Wall Street,’ an initiative to raise awareness of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and to celebrate Black business owners during that time, as well as survivors, educators, and academic and athletic personnel. who broke the color barrier and made history.

Each season, Tulsa’s second home game was dedicated to “The Legacy of Black Wall Street” with the Legacy and Leadership Award given in honor of Tulsa’s first African-American senior administrator, Dr. Derrick Gragg. Fletcher is committed to educating players about social justice and creating a culture of equality.

“Football has been a kind of ministry for me and has given me the opportunity to grow not only as a man, husband and father, but also as a mentor, brother, friend, coach and student,” said said Fletcher. “Football is a ship that has filled many gaps, not only athletically, but also socio-economically, socially and educationally. The game since its inception has brought communities together and shaped great leaders, and my wife and I are so happy to have our family be part of a program led by a visionary like Coach Herm Edwards.”

In Fletcher’s only season with the Tigers, Missouri advanced to a bowl game, facing the Army in the Armed Forces Bowl. Four of their six regular season wins have come at other bowl-eligible teams, including big conference wins over South Carolina and Florida.

Fletcher helped Tulsa to three bowl games during his tenure, including a 55-10 victory in the 2016 Miami Beach Bowl over Central Michigan. The Golden Hurricanes’ passing defense has ranked in the AAC’s top five in each of its past three seasons, including a conference-leading and seventh-best national mark of 174.6 yards per game in 2018 .

Fletcher also worked with Tulsa’s special teams units and helped the blocking unit rank in the NCAA Top 15 in blocked kicks in 2018 (#10) and 2019 (#14).

Prior to joining the Tulsa staff, Fletcher spent three seasons (2012-14) at Houston Baptist University (FCS) where he helped start the Huskies football program from scratch.

Prior to joining the college ranks, Fletcher coached at three Dallas-area high schools from 2006 to 2011, including his last stop as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at David W. Carter High School from 2011 to 2012. There, he coordinated one of the best defenses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

His playing career spanned two years at Ranger Junior College (1995-96), where he earned team defensive MVP honors and all-conference honors. He then moved to Texas A&M – Commerce and started as a cornerback under current Mizzou assistant Curtis Luper. In 1999, Fletcher was ranked among the top 20 defensive prospects eligible for the high school draft and attended the NFL pre-draft camp. He graduated in Health Education from Texas A&M – Commerce in 2003.

Fletcher played in the National Indoor Football League for the Austin Knights in 2001 and in the Arena Football League with Laredo Law Football Club in 2004.

An active member of his community, Fletcher founded “3 and Out Productions” to improve community and student relations through sports camps and clinics in East Austin. Throughout his career, Fletcher has also been involved with the Boys and Girls Club, served as youth minister at Disciples of Faith in Commerce, and was an active member of The Potter’s House, a men’s ministry in Dallas.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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