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Ray Anderson has hired 17 of Sun Devil Athletics’ 22 current head coaches

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Some of the hires were a product of attrition. Some were required by the addition of new sports. Some came after their predecessors had been fired.

The sum of those parts has led to a stunning transformation of Sun Devil Athletics under Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson.

Following his announcement that Herman Edwards would be the new football coach at a press conference at Sun Devil Stadium on Monday, Anderson has hired 17 of Sun Devil Athletics’ 22 current head coaches (not to mention a bevy of new administrators) in a little less than four years on the job.

“As a leader, I’m always looking first and foremost for fit: cultural fit, philosophical fit, the ability to prioritize what’s important,” Anderson said. “That is not always the individual. In fact, if you’re going to be culturally fitted here, it’s not about the individual.”

Anderson has made a point of going after big fish or up-and-comers with many of his hires. Edwards is a departure in some respects from that model, although his eight years as an NFL coach fit in other respects.

Aside from Edwards, Anderson has landed several big-name coaches in their respective sports, many of whom are enjoying quick success.

Men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley has the Sun Devils off to a 7-0 start and a No. 16 AP ranking, their highest ranking since February 2009.

Swimming coach Bob Bowman is best known for coaching 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, but Bowman was also the coach for the men’s 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. The Sun Devils men’s team is ranked No. 11 in the nation; the women’s team is No. 24.

Wrestling coach Zeke Jones won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, he was the head coach for USA Wrestling’s freestyle wrestling team from 2008-2014 and he was the head coach of the 2012 U.S. Olympic freestyle wrestling team. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 12 in the nation.

Women’s golf coach Missy Farr-Kaye helped Arizona State bring home its first of seven NCAA Titles as a senior in 1990, and she led the Devils to the NCAA title last season in her second season as head coach.

Women’s triathlon coach Cliff English, who previously served as USA Triathlon’s Elite National Team Coach, has led ASU to back-to-back national championships in the first two years of the program’s existence.

“Elevated performance is not new to us at ASU,” Anderson said. “The standards and expectations are already here in our sports programs.”

The only five current Sun Devil head coaches who were not hired by Anderson are: women’s basketball coach Charli Turner Thorne, track and field coach Greg Kraft, diving coach Mark Bradshaw, women’s tennis coach Sheila McInerney and women’s water polo coach Todd Clapper.

CURRENT SUN DEVIL HEAD COACHES

Sheila McInerney, women’s tennis: Hired Aug. 16, 1984
Greg Kraft, men’s/women’s track & field: Hired July 28, 1996
Charli Turner Thorne, women’s basketball: Hired July 1, 1996
Mark Bradshaw, men’s/women’s diving: Hired July 30, 1997
Todd Clapper, women’s water polo: Hired Aug. 3, 2005

RAY ANDERSON HIRES

Zeke Jones, wrestling: Hired April 9, 2014
Tracy Smith, baseball: Hired June 24, 2014
Greg Powers, men’s hockey: Hired Nov. 18, 2014
Bobby Hurley, men’s basketball: Hired April 8, 2015
Bob Bowman, men’s/women’s swimming: Hired April 24, 2015
Missy Farr-Kaye, women’s golf: Hired June 26, 2015
Courtney Martinez Connor, women’s lacrosse: Hired Nov. 5, 2015
Cliff English, women’s triathlon: Hired Nov. 13, 2015
Brad Keenan, women’s beach volleyball: Hired May 13, 2016
Jay Santos, women’s gymnastics: Hired May 27, 2016
Trisha Ford, softball: Hired June 15, 2016
Matt Hill, men’s tennis: Hired June 29, 2016
Matt Thurmond, men’s golf: Hired July 25, 2016
Graham Winkworth, women’s soccer: Hired Nov. 29, 2016
Sanja Tomasevic, women’s volleyball: Hired Dec. 21, 2016
Jeremy Rasmussen, men’s/women’s cross country: Hired July 19, 2017
Herman Edwards, football: Hired Dec. 4, 2017

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