SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Ray Anderson was a Stanford Cardinal.
Arizona State’s new Vice President for Athletics played both baseball and football for three years in Palo Alto, and at his introductory press conference Thursday, said he attended the school because “they took me.”
Of course that’s not the only reason he went there, but as Anderson told the assembled media, boosters and fans at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale, from now on he’s a Sun Devil through and through.
“I’ve got no problem with that,” he said when asked if he’s ready to go up against the Cardinal. “I love my alma mater, but there are limitations and once we get in the competitive arena, it’s on.
“We certainly want to, in terms of the academic standards, we want to aspire to be like a Stanford, but when it comes to athletics, we aspire to beat Stanford and anyone else consistently and emphatically. We’re looking to win, and we’re going to win significantly with the student athletes that this place will draw.”
Anderson is walking into a pretty stable situation, with none of the team’s major sports seemingly in need of a great overhaul. The hope, it would seem, is that he can come in and continue to build on the momentum already in place.
He hasn’t officially done anything, but he’s off to a good start.
“I am very impressed with the hire of Ray Anderson as our Vice President for University Athletics,” football coach Todd Graham said in a statement. “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. I’m anxious for him to get started so that we can continue the momentum that we have built over the past 18 months.”
Men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek also praised the move, pointing to Anderson’s experience, albeit with a rival, as a positive attribute, which is something women’s hoops coach Charli Turner Thorne mentioned as well.
“He has a wonderful blend of collegiate experience and business acumen,” she said. “I am very confident he will provide leadership that our student-athletes, coaches and community will benefit from greatly.
“It seems like a great fit for him to come home to his West Coast roots.”
Anderson may not have been a Sun Devil before, but he is now. And for Arizona State, that’s all that matters.