Ray Anderson was named and introduced as Arizona State’s Athletic Director Thursday.
Anderson is a former NFL league office executive, running the football operations department since 2006. Before that he was the vice president of the Atlanta Falcons.
“In evaluating the next step in my career, I could not imagine a better, more exciting opportunity,” said Anderson in a press release. “I am thrilled to become part of the team at Arizona State and energized by the academic and athletic mission of this great university.”
The hiring comes a day after Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi had heard Anderson would be the guy.
Talking to multiple ASU sources over past couple hours, the name I keep hearing as next AD is Ray Anderson, most recently with NFL office..
— Paul Calvisi (@PaulCalvisi) January 9, 2014
ASU has been looking to replace Steve Patterson since his departure for the same position at the University of Texas in November.
Anderson reportedly was a potential candidate for several NFL team president positions, and last served as the NFL’s VP of Football Operations.
“We look forward to working with Ray, who has worked in athletics at the highest level and been a part of arguably the strongest brand in sports,” ASU basketball head coach Herb Sendek said in a release.
Anderson played both football and baseball at Stanford before graduating from Harvard Law School. He later launched a sports agency, where he represented former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green.
“I am very impressed with the hire of Ray Anderson as our Vice President for University Athletics,” said Sun Devil football head coach Todd Graham in a release. “Ray has a unique blend of professional experiences and that will serve him well at ASU. I especially like the fact that he has a football background, both as a player and as a professional in the marketplace.”
ASU has about 500 student-athletes across 22 sports. They currently graduate at a rate of 82 percent, fourth-best in the Pac-12 Conference.