LAFAYETTE — Before he even went through a practice as wide receivers coach for the Louisiana-Lafayette football team, John Simon accepted an opportunity to coach at Arizona State, multiple outlets reported Sunday.
Ragin’ Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth declined comment through a team spokesman.
The Cajuns announced Feb. 5 that they had hired Simon, with former receivers coach Jorge Munoz ascending to offensive coordinator.
Hudspeth said earlier this offseason that he wanted to reimagine his team’s offensive philosophy after a down season in 2015. With spring practice set to begin March 7, the Cajuns now have a hole to plug on their staff.
Simon came to the Cajuns from Southern Miss, where he spent the previous three seasons coaching running backs. His time in Hattiesburg likely played a role in his latest move: He is set to join an offensive staff at Arizona State led by offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Chip Lindsey, whom the Sun Devils hired away from Southern Miss in December. Lindsey and Simon spent the past two seasons together at Southern Miss.
The Cajuns’ neighbor to the east put the wheels in motion for this move when LSU hired Auburn receivers coach Dameyune Craig on Feb. 14. That left a door open for Arizona State’s newly hired running backs coach Kodi Burns, who won a national championship with Auburn as a wide receiver in 2010, to return to his alma mater just a little more than a month after coming to Arizona State. Burns joined Auburn’s staff Feb. 15.
Earlier this offseason, Hudspeth said he interviewed at least six candidates for the open position on his staff that eventually went to Simon. It’s unclear what the Cajuns’ timetable is to fill out their staff.