Amey, Ragle first to join Kenny Dillingham's Arizona State football staff
Newly named Arizona State football coach Kenny Dillingham isn't wasting any time getting his staff in place as Charlie Ragle and Vince Amey are the first to join the new staff. Amey will serve as defensive line coach while Ragle will head the special teams units.
Both come from Idaho State, where Ragle was the head coach and Amey the defensive line coach. During his introductory press conference on Sunday afternoon, Dillingham singled out Ragle as one of several coaching influences from whom he has learned.
The moves reinforce Dillingham's pledge to prioritize in-state recruiting. Both have ties to the state that run deep.
Ragle won three state championships as head coach at Scottsdale Chaparral from 2009-11 and just wrapped up his first season as Idaho State's head coach. He departed Chaparral, where he was 63-7 in five seasons, to take a role as special teams and tight ends coach at University of Arizona from 2013-16. He moved on to coach at Cal in 2017-18, focusing on those same positions.
Ragle was the defensive coordinator at Moon Valley (2000-04) before taking the same job at Chaparral in 2005, after Moon Valley went 14-0 and won a 4A state title in 2004. He worked for one season as a graduate assistant at ASU under Todd Graham in 2006, focusing on special teams and offensive line.
"Charlie Ragle is a name that carries weight within the football community in our state," Dillingham said. "He knows what it takes to build a championship-caliber program and knows how important it is to maintain strong ties with the high school community in Arizona. He has a track record as a proven recruiter, as a leader of younger men and his special teams results on the field speak for themselves. He is an exceptional builder of relationships and well-regarded by his student-athletes, recruits and colleagues. This is a man that is passionate about seeing this program succeed and I value and put great stock in the over two decades of experience he will bring to this staff. We are very excited to welcome Charlie back to the Valley."Amey played for ASU from 1994 to 1997, excelling as a defensive tackle under Bruce Snyder and starting in the 1997 Rose Bowl against Ohio State on a team that went 11-2 and finished No. 4 in the country.
"Vince Amey is a beloved Sun Devil and one who knows exactly what it takes to produce a Rose Bowl-caliber program, having seen it firsthand," Dillingham said. "He has coached and played at numerous levels of football in numerous roles. His versatility and ties to this state are exactly what we need on this staff. When you have the opportunity to welcome back a passionate and talented alum to help lead your program, it is a no-brainer. Vince has seen this program at its heights, and I know he is excited to help us return to that level of greatness."Amey, 47, just finished his first year as an assistant coach at Idaho State. Before landing in Pocatello he was in the XFL as the defensive line coach for the Los Angeles Wildcats in 2020 and the San Diego Feet in 2019.
He also is no stranger to coaching in the Pac-12, spending five years at the University of Arizona from 2012-15, where he worked in various capacities, from assistant strength coach, defensive analyst and defensive line coach, with his time there coming while Ragle also was on staff.
He was selected in the seventh round (230th overall) by the Oakland Raiders in the the 1998 NFL draft and while the NFL career didn't last long he did play 10 years in the Arena Football League.
"I just have so many positive emotions about being back here. Everything Coach Dillingham said in his introduction, it just brought me to tears. It was verbatim what we, as alumni, want from this program. I am excited to represent my alma mater. I bleed Maroon and Gold." Amey said. "I am overjoyed with emotion and passion about this place. I want to be here and win here and get it back to the prestigious program it has been and we know it can be. From my time and experience here, the bond and connections and brotherhood I made with those guys – I can name them all – it is still with us today. Everyone I've talked to is excited about having one of their own back and ready to change the culture. It is that brotherhood and that family and what it means to be a Sun Devil that I want to instill and preach to the players that come through here. I could not be more excited for this opportunity and am grateful to Coach Dillingham and the administration for welcoming me back home."
Dillingham on Sunday said he will retain Shaun Aguano as part of his staff, though his role was not specified. It remains to be seen if there will be any other holdovers from the former ASU staff. Aguano was named interim head coach after Herm Edwards was let go early this season. Aguano, who led Chandler High to four state titles, was running backs coach under Edwards and, like Dillingham, has emphasized the need to prioritize in-state recruiting.
More:Dillingham meets with Arizona high school coaches via Zoom
The addition of Amey means Robert Rodriguez will not be returning. Rodriguez, who came to ASU from the Minnesota Vikings, where he was an assistant defensive line coach, had a no-nonsense approach and was popular with his players for his attention to technique and detail.
Reach the reporter at Michelle.Gardner@gannett.com or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.