Arizona State on Monday introduced Herm Edwards as its football coach, the major piece of program shift to an NFL-structured organizational model. Edwards, 63, has worked as an ESPN analyst since 2009. Before that, he was head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs.
ASU VP of Athletics Ray Anderson: "Since the last time we met in a similar setting a week ago, it's been a long, it's been a hectic, it's been an interesting, and I can guarantee you it's been an educational week."
Why Herm Edwards?
ASU President on Michael Crow: "One of the things we're trying to do in our football program is build on the success we've had the last few years. To advance in a new model, one in which we find an individual who can manage our football program and be our head coach. ... What we're doing is changing to a different model. We're not happy with the way the model has worked over several coaching changes here at ASU. In advancing this model, we needed to find a unique individual. I'm excited about where we are. We're committed to driving toward higher and higher levels of excellence."
Phil de Picciotto, longtime associate of Edwards: "Whatever the platform, Herm has the ability to connect. Herm is a unifier. ... How one wins and with whom is very important to him. ... It's always about the people for Herm. ... Herm is beloved (at ESPN). He is referred there as coach, because he's always tried to help everyone. He never intended to leave ESPN. He feels he can make the right kind of different. I would say simply, Herm Edwards just fits here."
ASU's program expectations
Anderson: ASU football is nobody's rebuild. We need to take the next step, and I believe Herman Edwards can take us there."
Edwards said ASU has not done a good enough job recruiting. Has not developed NFL talent well enough. Has not done a good enough job retaining assistant coaches. Wants to get to a point where ASU is the team nobody wants to play.
Edwards said it will be an "all-hands-on-deck" approach to elevate the football program, suggests Associate AD for Football Tim Cassidy will stay at ASU and work under Edwards. Cassidy was Graham's right-hand man, so that's a little surprising.
"Elevated performance is not new to us at ASU," Anderson said. "The standard and expectations are already here. ... This train for ASU football is leaving the station. "
Herm Edwards defends candidacy
Much has been made about Edwards' layoff from coaching. Since 2009, He has worked for ESPN as an NFL analyst. First he said, for those who don't think he can coach, turn on ESPN on Wednesday, he'll be coaching from Bristol, which suggests his ESPN duties are not over.
"You don't forget how to coach," Edwards said. "I can't play. But I will tell you, I got one hit left, but I'm not here to play. I'm here to build a program. I don't want to hear about SC or Stanford or Oregon or UCLA. I heard that my whole life. I was recruited by Frank Kush to play here. ... I understand the importance of this game. I will work tirelessly."
How much longer will Herm Edwards stay at ESPN?
Through Friday. "When you sign on to do something, you finish," he said. "You don't tap out. I'm going to finish my work week and then I'll be here Saturday night."
From there, Edwards plans to start recruiting.
What about Edwards's age? He points out that Nick Saban is 66. North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams is 66. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is 62.
Edwards also said he has had opportunities to return coaching. At the time, it wasn't the right fit.
Edwards on putting together ASU's staff
A big question: With Edwards taking a CEO approach, he likely will lean heavily on his staff. Anderson said last week that offensive coordinator Billy Napier and defensive coordinator Phil Bennett would have chances to return. This week, running backs John Simon and receivers coach Rob Likens expressed interest in returning. Edwards said he planned to meet with ASU's current staff today.
Nothing official but from the conversations I've had today sure looks like ASU offensive coordinator Billy Napier is staying.— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) December 4, 2017
How does Edwards plans to recruit?
Edwards was asked to paint a picture of him in a recruit's living room. "Obviously, looking at their family members: What do you expect out of your son?" he said. "And then more importantly, this is what I'm going to do for your son."
By the time a player is finished at ASU, Edwards said he wants him to think that he's a better man for playing under Edwards.
I asked Edwards how he plans to get up to speed on college football's complex recruiting rules. His first response: "Wooo-wee!"
"I will do nothing to embarrass this university when it comes to rules,'' he said. "Sometimes you don't agree, but they are there for a reason. I'm not going to embarrass my father's last name or this university. There's always rules in life. They're there for structure. And that's important."
Edwards on the Territorial Cup
Asked what the words "Territorial Cup" mean to him, Edwards relayed conversations he had Tedy Bruschi, an ESPN analyst and former Arizona analyst about the rivalry game.
"If you come here you're going to know the history of these games because I'm going to talk about it,'' Edwards said. "You kidding me? That's what college football is about."
Herm Edwards' NFL coaching record
Edwards coached the Jets from 2001 through 2005, going 39-41 in five seasons. The Jets went to the playoffs three times under Edwards, going 2-3.
Edwards coached the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006 through 2008, going 15-33 in three seasons. The Chiefs went to the playoffs one time under Edwards, losing to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card Game.
Take a look at ASU football coaches through the years, from Dan Devine (1955-57) to Todd Graham (2012-17). Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports 1955–1957 | Dan Devine | Record: 27-3-1 AP 1958–1979 | Frank Kush | Record: 176–54–1 Photo courtesy of ASU 1979 | Bob Owens | Record: 3–4 Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports 1980–1984 | Darryl Rogers | 37–18–1 Patrick Breen/azcentral sports 1985–1987 | John Cooper | 25–9–2 Cheryl Evans/azcentral sports 1988–1991 | Larry Marmie | 22–21–1 azcentral sports 1992–2000 | Bruce Snyder | 58–47 USA TODAY Sports 2001–2006 | Dirk Koetter | 40–34 Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports 2007–2011 | Dennis Erickson | 31–31 Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports 2012–2017 | Todd Graham | 44-30 Jeffrey Lowman/azcentral sports