Is the pressure already on Herm Edwards at ASU? Apparently
Zero games have been coached.
Following departures of both coordinators that the Arizona State program wanted to retain under first-year head coach Herm Edwards, there has been little bad news regarding the program — unless the expectations were that the Sun Devils would sign a top-25 recruiting class for 2018 despite only having a few months to do so.
But apparently, ASU football’s first-year coach is already under pressure to win.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd rated every FBS coach’s job security, and the first-year coach for the Sun Devils starts off with pressure mounting, or a 3 out of 5 on the scale (5 being of the “win or be fired” category and 0 being “untouchable”).
It wasn’t quite the same hot-seat hot take as three of four writers for Athlon.com, who in a season preview said Edwards had the hottest seat in the entire Pac-12.
But it’s up there.
For comparison’s sake, only 35 of the 129 head coaches rated by Dodd received a 3, 4 or 5 on the scale.
Of 21 new coaching hires, only Edwards and Georgia Southern’s Chad Lunsford received ratings above a 2.
Down the Interstate 10 in Tucson, for example, first-year Arizona Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin received a rating of 2, or “all good … for now.”
Edwards, of course, was brought to Arizona State amid skepticism. ASU vice president of university athletics Ray Anderson, who was previously Edwards’ agent, hired the former ESPN analyst nine years after the coach’s last job on the sidelines. That was in the NFL, and Edwards’ only experience as a college coach came as a defensive backs assistant for San Jose State in 1987-89.
Arizona State’s corporate-jargon-laden official announcement of a “new leadership model” — a model that was later compared by Edwards to other successful college football programs — added to the confusion about job titles and direction.
But despite all that and despite planning to retain former head coach Todd Graham’s assistants — OC Billy Napier and DC Phil Bennett — only to see both of them depart, the foundation has settled in at ASU.
The Sun Devils hauled in the 36th-ranked recruiting class despite having just about two months to earn commitments after Edwards and staff were hired in December.
Barring any unforeseen changes above Edwards’ head, the university appears committed to seeing a still-very-fresh hire through. Edwards, as is standard for a well-paid public employee, received a public endorsement from ASU president Michael Crow upon introduction, after all.
And have we mentioned Arizona State has yet to play a game under Edwards?