The Sun Devils announced the hiring of former NFL coach and ESPN analyst Herm Edwards as football coach Sunday night, ushering in a new, unexpected era for the program. If anything, the Sun Devils will receive a jolt of energy and excitement with this hire.
The move is still pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.
For perspective, the last time Edwards was a coach at the collegiate level, Urban Meyer was the quarterbacks/wide receivers coach at Illinois State and Nick Saban was the defensive backs coach of the Houston Oilers; Lincoln Riley, one of the four 2017 playoff head coaches, was a first-grader; Bo Schembechler was in his last season as the head coach at MI; and there were a total of 18 bowl games (there are now 174). We have no idea if this will work out.
The Sun Devils fired coach Todd Graham after six seasons on November 26 and wanted to move quickly with the early-signing period for high school recruits starting December 20. He led the Sun Devils to 10 wins in his second and third seasons in Tempe, but finished one game below.500 in 2015 and 2016 before leading to Arizona State to a 7-5 regular season record this year.
In his press conference after firing of Todd Graham, Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson expressed his desire to retain assistant coaches Billy Napier and Phil Bennett, and it appears that ASU wants Napier to continue to run the offense, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.
Edwards, 63, last coached for a team in 2008 - he worked for the Kansas City Chiefs, but was sacked in January of 2009.
"Passion for my faith, my family and my occupation as a football coach are the things that have driven me back to the grass", said Edwards in a statement. He was 54-74 as an National Football League head coach. Anderson also notes that "the head coach will be a dynamic and tireless recruiter". "I am very excited and humbled to be the Arizona State head football coach".
Edwards has not been a college coach since he was at San Jose State in the 1980s.
In his eight seasons as an National Football League head coach, Edwards went 54-74. The latter two addressed a change in philosophy in the Sun Devil football program.
The New Leadership Model will allow for resource sharing and strategic planning between the football staff and administrators who are directly involved with the program.