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New coordinators who could boost incumbent coaches

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AP

3:13 a.m. ET April 6, 2017

Hiring a new coordinator can at times be as impactful to a college football program as making a head coaching change.

Take Penn State, for example, where head coach James Franklin’s hiring of Joe Moorhead last season helped get the Nittany Lions back in the top 10.

Hire two new coordinators and, well, that can look like a major rebuild.

Six teams that have an intriguing new coordinator — or two.

Arizona State

Coming off a 5-7 season, coach Todd Graham moved to fix a defense that was last in the Pac-12 (7.07 yards per play allowed) by bringing in veteran coordinator Phil Bennett to replace Keith Patterson, who was bumped down to linebacker coach. Arizona State has always taken a high-risk approach with Graham that produces lots of negative plays. Bennett uses similar schemes, but might back off some blitzes to protect an inexperienced secondary.

On the other side of the ball, offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey left to join Gus Malzahn at Auburn. Graham chose Alabama wide receiver coach Billy Napier as a replacement. How much of what the Crimson Tide was doing under Lane Kiffin moves with Napier to Tempe?

Mississippi

Hugh Freeze had to do some house cleaning after the Rebels went 5-7. Out went veteran assistants Dave Wommack (defense)…

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