Arizona State and football coach Herm Edwards mutually agreed to separate after the Sun Devils’ disastrous loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday. The program is 1-2 per season and faces an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations.
Sunday’s news was a foregone conclusion for anyone who watched Edwards, the former New York Jets coach and Kansas City Chiefs, faced him as athletics director Ray Anderson and head coach Michael Crowe on Saturday as he walked off the field after a 20-21 loss. .
The conversation seemed amicable and neither side seemed angry, but Edwards seemed resigned to his fate.
‘I’ve heard about getting on the tarmac, but I think Herm is the first coach I’ve seen to get the finish point,’ tweeted a blogger at Georgia Bulldogs.
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards looks toward the scoreboard with his team falling to Eastern Michigan during the first half of a college football game on Saturday.
The conversation seemed amicable and neither side seemed angry, but Edwards seemed resigned to his fate. One Georgia Bulldogs blogger tweeted: ‘I’ve heard of getting on the tarmac, but I think Herm is the first coach I’ve seen to get the finish point.
Anderson made a calculated gamble in hiring a soccer coach five years ago, a gamble that earned the school national ridicule.
He hoped Edwards, despite his lack of college coaching experience and nine years in a television studio, would give the show the jolt it needed, and lead it into a new era with an NFL-like leadership model.
Edwards was able to placate many critics with some early victories on the field and trail recruiting.
When ugly losses piled up and the NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations continued, Anderson decided to make a change.
Arizona State and Edwards mutually agreed to dismissal methods on Sunday, a day after the Sun Devils lost 30-21 to Eastern Michigan at the Mid-American Conference, where the favorites were on their home ground.
“I don’t regret at all because I thought it was the right thing to do at the time,” Anderson said. ‘But I also think that when you get to a point where you realize you’re not always right, maybe you don’t work at the level you want to and you don’t have the patience to wait because the world is changing really fast out there, then you make the changes. This is what we did.
Edwards was able to keep his job after the ups and downs of 2021, but another shaky loss saw him fire three games into his fifth season. Arizona is still awaiting news of possible sanctions from the NCAA for allegedly hosting recruits on campus during the NCAA’s 2020 COVID-19 death warrant.
Edwards went 46-26 at Arizona State, including 1-2 this season and 17-14 in the Pac 12. The Sun Devils have not won more than eight games in a season under Edwards, nor have Anderson’s goal of playing in major bowling games .
Linebacker running coach Sean Iguano will serve as interim coach.
The Sun Devils start play for the Pac-12 with three seeded teams: the No. 13 seeded in Utah on Saturday, followed by the seventh seed in Southern California and the No. 18 seeded in Washington.
“Our future begins now and our responsibility is to try to inject new energy and new urgency into the programme,” Anderson said.
Edwards, a former NFL coach, was considered an unconventional appointment when he was chosen by league president Michael Crowe and Anderson to lead the mediocre program. A former NFL agent, he represented Anderson Edwards during his playing days with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Edwards has spent the previous nine years as an NFL TV analyst and hasn’t been a college coach since serving as a defensive back coach at San Jose State from 1987 to 1989.
The chatty trainer changed the narrative in his first few seasons in Tempe, proving himself a skilled recruit while leading the Sun Devils to two straight backs.
Good intentions did not last.
Arizona State was hit hard by COVID-19 during the late 2020 season, finishing 2-2. The Sun Devils opened the 2021 season 5-1 before suffering back-to-back ugly losses, dropping 56 consecutive points to Utah and Washington.
He thought Edwards would be on the hot seat at the end of the season, but Anderson said he would stay as coach after a lopsided win over rival Arizona.
Arizona experienced a massive exodus of players and coaches during the holiday period, losing five assistant coaches, 11 drafted or signed players by NFL teams and several key players to the transfer gate.
Edwards has essentially rebuilt the Sun Devils through the transfer portal, adding 43 new players to the roster.
The Sun Devils opened the season with a predictable easy victory over FCS opponent Northern Arizona and played well at No. 8 Oklahoma State before fading out late in the loss 34-17.
Arizona State had hoped to correct itself against eastern Michigan, only to fall back for 20-and-a-half points inside. The Sun Devils couldn’t stop the Eagles defensively, they plagued major penalties and became the first Pac-12 school to lose to a MAC school.
“We had a lot of confidence and confidence that with the right coaching staff and with some of the people we were expecting to include, we’re going to have a chance to really recover,” Anderson said. “We were looking to do that with the leadership that we had and we thought we had an opportunity to do that – and it just didn’t materialize.”