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ASU can be the house Bobby Hurley built, AD Ray Anderson says

Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics and Athletic Director Ray Anderson does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)
LISTEN: Ray Anderson, ASU Athletic Director

Bobby Hurley didn’t inherit much talent when he took over Arizona State’s basketball program in 2015. Some of the players who did remain didn’t jibe with his intense style, transferring out of ASU.

The few that did? They and Hurley, who is now 48-41 as ASU’s head coach, are responsible for a culture shift.

The No. 25 Sun Devils (19-6) are winning, pulling off upsets and no longer clawing just to compete against the nation’s best. For that, their recruiting has thrived.

Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson saw Hurley’s winning traits beforehand, but this year’s results confirmed to him that Hurley is the leader of the basketball team’s future. ASU and Hurley agreed to a contract extension through 2022 in late January.

Related: Bobby Hurley’s five losses against rival Arizona

“Bobby Hurley is the right fit for this culture,” Anderson told Doug & Wolf Wednesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “He’s got passion, he’s got a desire to essentially put his own stamp on a program, to build his own house, to make his own legacy.

“I think he knows that this fan base has embraced him very wholeheartedly. I think he sees that this is a place that it can be Bobby’s house, not taking over somebody else’s house who has built a house at Duke or wherever.”

A GOOD START TO THE NEW LEADERSHIP MODEL


The early returns from first-year ASU head football coach Herm Edwards were promising.

Edwards and his staff brought in the 36th-ranked recruiting class in the country, per 247 Sports, and the expectation is a full year on the job will allow that ranking to take a major leap forward, Anderson said.

“What we are confident about is at least the first indicators on the recruiting front show that there is some hope here, some sensibility to the structure,” Anderson said, reaffirming that ASU expects to be among the elite football programs in the country. “Now the next steps are you have to coach these players and develop these players at a higher level as a staff.

“And then you’ve got to recruit, coach and develop, and then retain assistant coaches at a high rate. And then you’ve got to game prep and game manage at a more consistent, higher rate.”

Related: Edwards has plan to develop ASU’s young players

Brought on under what Anderson and ASU dubbed as a new leadership model, the athletic director said the university was following suit of other top football teams in the country.

Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Washington have similar hierarchies within their football departments.

ASU isn’t a trailblazer.

“But very frankly, the emphasis we wanted to have is more people involved in the really important aspects of running a football department, where you have more accountability across a wide array of experienced folks who could lift the burden from the head coach to try to do it all and try to think he was responsible for doing it all,” Anderson said.

NOTABLE

— On teams spending record amounts on coaching hires: “Very frankly, in the Pac-12, I think there’s a philosophy that we don’t have to be the SEC, we don’t want to be the Big Ten in terms of the very robust salaries that some of these (coaches) are getting. We think there is a work-life quality on the West Coast in this conference that has value. We think that the student athletes in all the Olympic sports that are our conference sponsors has real value and real attractiveness to a head coach and his family and his assistants that want to be part of that environment and that culture. Others can pay and compensate in ways they deem appropriate.”

— Anderson expects the third phase of Sun Devil Stadium’s renovation to be completed by kickoff to the 2018 season in September.

On the renovations to Wells Fargo Arena“Long overdue, very frankly. We haven’t had a significant upgrade there since 1974. It will be a renovation that will provide our fans amenities that they will be proud of and enjoy.

“It won’t be over the top, it won’t be luxurious but it will be very functional and it will be very nice in terms of its amenities.”

— The multi-purpose facility erected along with Wells Fargo Arena’s updates will provide a home for ASU’s hockey, gymnastics and wrestling teams. The 4,000- to 5,000-seat venue will also hold student events, public events and be available for shows and concerts, Anderson said.

—  ASU recently broke ground on its new golf practice facilities and is looking to update its baseball stadium, Phoenix Municipal, and softball stadium.

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