By JOHN MARSHALL
AP Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals hired Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon on Tuesday to be their next head coach.
Gannon replaces Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired last month after going 4-13 in his fourth season. Gannon becomes Arizona’s fourth coach in seven years and the second Eagles coordinator to become a head coach after Shane Steichen was hired by Indianapolis on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Gannon has been Philadelphia’s defensive coordinator the past two seasons, helping rebuild a defense that helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl last Sunday. The Eagles lost to Kansas City 38-35 at State Farm Stadium, home of the Cardinals.
The Eagles had the NFL’s No. 2 defense this season and the third-most sacks in NFL history with 78 under Gannon in 2022. Philadelphia led the NFL with 70 sacks this season — 15 more than any other team.
Gannon’s hiring is the first major move by general manager Monti Ossenfort, who was hired last month after Steve Keim and the team parted ways.
Gannon inherits a defense spearheaded by Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker, young linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins. Arizona also is potentially looking at a roster overhaul with roughly 30 unrestricted free agents and the retirement of three-time NFL defensive player of the year J.J. Watt.
Before being hired by the Eagles, Gannon served as the defensive backs coach for the Colts from 2018-20. He also worked as an assistant defensive backs/quality control coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2014-17 and held the same position with the Tennessee Titans from 2012-13.
Gannon began his coaching career as a defensive assistant with the Atlanta Falcons in 2007 and worked as a scout for the Rams from 2009-10. He played defensive back at Louisville in 2002 before sustaining a career-ending hip injury and served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed.