(Photo: Elaine Wilson/WCSN)
Just like the most decorated senior class in program history, former head coach Jason Watson will be departing Arizona State.
Watson will be leaving to fill the head coaching position Arkansas, after spending the last eight years at ASU.
“The important thing is this opportunity wasn’t something that stems from any kind of dissatisfaction at ASU,” Watson told azcentral’s Jeff Metcalfe. “It’s an outstanding athletic department. The opportunity at Arkansas and what they’ve presented with their vision made it an opportunity I couldn’t turn down for my family.”
After the news broke, Arizona State Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson released a statement about Watson’s decision.
“We are very proud of Jason Watson and the job he did at Arizona State University. He returned the program to national prominence and departs with a solid foundation in place,” Anderson said. “As I am with any Sun Devil staffer I am proud of our coaches and staff when they can improve their family situations. Immediately, we will begin an international search for a volleyball coach who will serve our institution, community and student-athletes well going forward.”
Watson will be filling in for former head coach Robert Pulliza, who stepped down on December 16 and posted an overall record of 122-124 (67-87 in the SEC), only making the NCAA Tournament twice in his eight years at Arkansas. The Razorbacks finished 17-13 last season.
This will be Watson’s third head coaching job. He coached at BYU for three years before landing at ASU. Before that, he was an assistant coach at Arkansas State.
Watson lead the Sun Devils to four straight NCAA tournament appearances and helped the Sun Devils reach their second best start in program history (15-0) in 2015.