Strange things have occurred in the desert. UFO sightings, weird things found buried in the desert, and storms called haboobs. However, Arizona State Athletic Director Ray Anderson, is trying to add his own kind of crazy in the desert.
Once the final horn sounded in the Territorial Cup the search for a new coach for the Sun Devils began. Or did it?
Todd Graham, former coach of Arizona State, was fired the day after their victory over archrival Arizona. Graham will coach the Sun Devils in their bowl game which appears to be the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.
There was a lot of positive sentiment to keep Coach Graham going into the Arizona game and certainly after the Territorial Cup win. According to some fans and alumni the improvement from the previous season was being seen.
The Sun Devils beat Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Arizona this year. Arizona State did lose to an average UCLA team and lost at home to San Diego State early in the year. That loss to the Aztecs in September I believe set Ray Anderson’s mind in motion that a change was going to be needed at the head coaching position.
Reportedly, Athletic Director Ray Anderson had set a eight game win total for Todd Graham to retain his job. Ironically, if the Sun Devils win their bowl game, the team will have won eight games.
Ray Anderson, fired Graham early last Sunday morning and then began the speculation of who was going to be taking the reigns of the Sun Devil program.
Names like Kevin Sumlin, Chip Kelly, and Herm Edwards were thrown around.
Herm Edwards? The ESPN personality? The former coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs?
Yeah, that guy.
I don’t even think anybody else was even seriously considered by AD Ray Anderson.
I had to look up when Edwards last coached in college. It was 1989, the year I graduated high school, that he last coached college kids. To say the least, the college game has changed. The way to coach kids has changed.
Don’t get me wrong. Herm Edwards is a great public speaker, he speaks his mind, and certainly has a big personality. However, my question is why choose a guy that seems like a lateral move from Todd Graham.
Edwards and Ray Anderson have a friendship that goes back years. Many years.
Ray Anderson represented Herm Edwards as his agent and have remained close since that time. Ever heard of cronyism? Just asking.
At the horrendous press conference that Anderson had announcing the firing of Graham he left some hints that somebody with little college experience might be on his radar. Ray Anderson said that the new coach would need to keep the old offensive and defensive coordinator. How does that work? The new guy keeps maybe one or two guys from the old regime in any coaching change. Usually the new coach keeps a receivers coach or an offensive line coach, but not coordinators.
When Herm Edwards name surfaced I genuinely let out a little laugh. I couldn’t believe this was the direction that Anderson was choosing to go.
I still can’t believe it.
Arizona State is a middle of the road program. It’s been average for a long time. The program has had their moments, but they haven’t won on a big scale very often. Now, Ray Anderson wants to put a guy who doesn’t have much college experience as the face of the Sun Devil football program and expects it to be better.
Ray Anderson also said at that disaster of a press conference that fans that accept this average type of play are “living in the past”. Well, Mr. Anderson, going back to an old friend who hasn’t coached in college in almost 30 years is living in the past.
First rule of being an athletic director is don’t patronize your fan base. You like season ticket holders right? You have new football suites you need to pay for and by choosing Herm Edwards there is a good chance that those suites will remain empty.
Kevin Sumlin, Beau Baldwin, Kevin Fuentes are just some of the suggestions that would be better than Herm Edwards.
Ray Anderson just put his job and reputation on the line at Arizona State.
Sun Devil fans, it could be worse. You could be a Tennessee Volunteer fan.