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Some of David Duggan's clothes are in his car. Others are at his home, which he now is trying to sell as quickly as possible.

Duggan, who was hired as Arkansas State University's new defensive coordinator Jan. 15, has taken two different jobs since late December. The relocations -- including this one to Jonesboro from a less-than-one-month stint at the University of Massachusetts -- can be overwhelming.

"It's a stressful time. It really is," Duggan, 55, said Tuesday. "You're totally relocating. You're coming to a new place. You've got to do all the [human resources] stuff. You've got to fill out this piece of paper. You have to do this background check.

"And then you get it all done and you find you're living out of your car or your temporary housing and trying to do your laundry. That's a whirlwind."

Hired eight days ago, Duggan has rejoined a former colleague, ASU Coach Blake Anderson, and is soon to embark on his sixth season on the same staff as ASU's head coach.

The two were on the University of Southern Mississippi's staff from 2008-2011. Anderson was the Golden Eagles' quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. Duggan was their linebackers coach from 2008-2010 and became Southern Miss' co-defensive coordinator in 2011.

In 2012, both coaches migrated to the University of North Carolina for the same positions. Duggan returned to Southern Miss as defensive coordinator for three seasons in 2013-2015.

Duggan -- who spent the past three seasons as Western Michigan University's linebackers coach -- was hired by UMass Coach Walt Bell, ASU's offensive coordinator from 2014-2015, as a co-defensive coordinator in December.

One month later, Anderson followed his familiar coaching tree and hired Duggan once former defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen accepted a job as the University of Houston's defensive coordinator.

"I didn't have to come," Duggan said. "I wanted to come. That's how much I believe in [Anderson] and everything that he's doing here. It's an exciting time and an exciting job for me."

In 2015, Duggan's most recent season as a defensive coordinator, Southern Miss flipped a 3-9 record in 2014 to 9-5 in 2015. Duggan's defense allowed 25.6 points per game, which was the second-fewest in Conference USA. ASU's defense gave up exactly 25.6 points per game in 2018.

The Golden Eagles, who also ranked second in sacks in the C-USA with 32 in 2015 (ASU had 35 in 2018), also qualified for the conference championship game and appeared in the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Duggan's final season.

Duggan's coaching career began in 1987 as a inside linebackers coach at Allegheny College, a Division III private school in northwest Pennsylvania.

Aside from being a longtime linebackers coach, Duggan was the head coach of NFL Europe's Cologne Centurions in 2006 and 2007, the NFL Europe's final season of operation. The Centurions' defense ranked first in the league in Duggan's two seasons.

From a Division III school in 1987 to Europe to Jonesboro, what is to expect from a David Duggan defense?

"Well, I'll tell you this," he said. "You're going to see great communication and body language. You're going to see us being fundamentally sound. You're going to see us attack the football with intimidating effort. You're going to see us be great tacklers. And then you're going to see us play with an unbelievable amount of enthusiasm."

Schematically, Duggan said it's not likely ASU's new defense will go through a physical makeover that differs from Cauthen's style.

Cauthen, ASU's defensive coordinator for the past five seasons, typically fielded five defensive backs, four defensive lineman and two linebackers.

Duggan's scheme is where he said he finds his biggest advantage headed into his first Sun Belt Conference season in 2019.

Yes, there will be changes to ASU's defense under Duggan.

But, for now, only he knows what those may be.

"That's the one advantage I do have," Duggan said. "Nobody knows what I'm doing, at least in that first game. We'll be very similar schematically, to be honest with you."

Sports on 01/23/2019

Print Headline: New defensive coordinator David Duggan digging in quickly with ASU


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