(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)
Arizona State made it official on Sunday.
Herm Edwards will be the next head coach of Sun Devil football.
Welcome Coach Edwards!
— Sun Devil Athletics (@TheSunDevils) December 4, 2017
The announcement comes after days of speculation and reports indicating the former NFL coach and current ESPN analyst would be hired by his ex-agent, ASU athletic director Ray Anderson.
Despite their relationship, Anderson insisted earlier in the week that, “I’m not really concerned about [hiring] ‘my guy.’ I want the right guy for the right reasons.”
The biggest reason going for Edwards’ hiring is his experience at football’s top level.
Edwards coached for 8 seasons in the NFL, accumulating a 54-74 record and four playoff appearances, three of which came when he was the head coach of the New York Jets.
During his days as an assistant, Edwards spent time as a defensive backs coach with the Kansas City Chiefs (the other team he would eventually be a head coach of), Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Jose State University.
ESPN3 college football analyst and ex-NFL defensive back Jay Taylor played for Edwards both at San Jose State and in Kansas City. He told CronkiteSports.com earlier this week that Edwards was a “very positive coach that won’t yell at you but wants to teach you the game and how to excel at it.”
“Where his style helps more is guys know he’s been on their side before,” Taylor added via electronic message. “When he speaks, guys know he’s been through it so your more apt to go out and produce.”
Edwards will replace Todd Graham, who was fired last Sunday after six seasons and a 46-31 record at ASU.
Anderson cited “average” performances as the reason for Graham’s dismissal during a press conference last Sunday, but added that he preferred any new head coach to retain ASU’s current crop of assistant coaches.
Edwards seemed receptive to that idea during a radio interview on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday.
“They’re football guys. Football guys are married to football, in the end. You keep good coaches,” Edwards said of ASU’s current staff. “…You don’t get rid of them because they’re somebody else’s guy. Coaches belong to football.”
Edwards is the first football hire Anderson has made since becoming athletic director and vice president of university athletics in January 2014. The administrator has set lofty goals for his new head coach.
Chief among them: wanting the Sun Devils to finish in the top-3 of the conference and the top-15 of the nation consistently.
“We don’t want to be average, we don’t want to be ordinary,” Anderson said on Sunday. “We want to be extraordinary.”