Kevin Corless is in his ninth season after coming to ASU in January 2002 as the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator.
Corless took over sole ownership of the defensive coordinator title before the 2009 season and he is also in charge of coaching ASU's linebackers.
Corless and the defensive staff guided the Red Wolves Strike Force Defense to the ninth best turnaround in the country in 2002. The ASU defense improved by jumping up in total defense rankings by 41 spots from 80 in 2001 to 39th in 2002. The swarming Red Wolves defense sacked opposing quarterbacks 33 times in 2002, up from eight the previous season. Interceptions improved from five in 2001 to 16 the following year.
ASU's defense has been consistently strong since 2002 and has seen a number of players pick up all-conference accolades, including linebackers Ben Owens, Devrett Wade, Koby McKinnon, Josh Williams and Les Echols. Williams was named to two freshman All-America teams.
ASU's defense has ranked among the top two units in the Sun Belt Conference and top 50 in the nation each of the last four years, including 2007 and 2009 when it led the league and 2006 when it ranked 32nd in the nation.
Not only did ASU lead the conference in total defense in 2009, it ranked No. 41 in the nation. The Red Wolves also ranked 30th nationally in rushing defense and 45th in scoring defense. ASU allowed just two 100-yard rushers during the season. The defense also featured All-Sun Belt Conference selection and former SBC Player of the Year Alex Carrington, who ranked tied for first in the conference in sacks and third in tackles for loss.
The 2008 team ranked second in the SBC and 46th in the nation in total defense. The unit also ranked 39th in the nation in passes intercepted, picking off at least one pass in nine of the Red Wolves 12 games. The 2008 team also posted 26 sacks to rank 37th in the nation in the stat. Under his tutelage, Owens led the team in tackles and became the first player in ASU history to be named a national defensive player of the week.
The 2007 team ranked first in the Sun Belt conference and 43rd in the nation in total defense after finishing the 2006 campaign ranked second in the conference and 32nd in the country. Senior linebacker Koby McKinnon led the team in tackles and was an all-conference pick for the second consecutive year.
Corless coached a 2003 defense which saw two players go to the NFL (Corey Williams to Green Bay and Jon Bradley to Tampa Bay). He had a linebacker lead the nation in tackles among all freshmen in 2004 and the 2005 Red Wolves' defense picked up 870 tackles, 59 more than their opponents. That defense also recorded 27 sacks for minus 173 yards, 12 forced fumbles and 13 recovered and 86 other stops behind the line for minus 287 yards.
Corless came to Jonesboro after seven years at Northwestern (La.) State. While there, Corless' defenses consistently ranked in the Top 10.
While at NSU, he also developed one of the top punt return units in the country led by All-American Terrance McGee (Buffalo 4th round) and a Pro Bowl selection. NSU finished number one in the country in return yardage in 1998.
Corless moved to linebacker coach prior to the 1999 season coaching All-American Kurt Rodriguez who helped lead the Demons to become the 16th-ranked defense in the country after losing nine starters from the 13th-ranked defensive units in 1998.
Prior to his arrival at NSU, Corless coached the linebackers and coordinated special teams at Montana Tech from 1987 to 1995 and helped lead a team that not won a game in three seasons to many winning seasons and a conference title and the school's first appearance in the national playoffs in 1992.
He began his coaching career in 1984 at Northwest Missouri State coaching linebackers from 1984 to 1987. He helped lead NWMSU to MIAA conference championship, a 10-2 record and the national playoffs.
An all-conference linebacker and four-year letterman at Northwest Missouri State University, Corless earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at NWMSU.
Born September 10, 1961, in Kansas City, Mo., Corless graduated from O'Hara High School in 1980 where he was a team captain broke the single season and career tackles record.
He is married to the former Stacey Danahy of Hopkinton, Mass., and they have three children-Anne (18), Caitlin (15) and Joe (13).