Ray Anderson has seen enough.
“Typically, I would say to you that in terms of coaching we would evaluate at the end of the season, but very frankly, in my two weeks here and the things I’ve been able to determine from observing myself and certainly hearing from others, that Herb has got this program in the right direction.”
Arizona State’s new athletic director, as a guest of the Dan Bickley Show with Vince Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday, said last Friday’s 69-66 double OT win over then-No. 2 Arizona was great, but it was only part of what makes him believe in the coach.
Sendek has been ASU’s men’s basketball coach since 2006, where he has compiled a 139-116 (61-78) record with one NCAA Tournament appearance. The team is primed for another this season with a 19-7 (8-5) record, and is still in the running for the Pac-12 title. Few would argue the coach is getting the most out of the talent he has.
But for Anderson to say that so soon after taking the job is a big deal, especially when it’s not uncommon for people in his position to replace incumbents with “their guys.”
The way he sees it, though, there’s no reason to do that with the basketball team.
“That victory the other night was certainly a signal that improvement has been made, and we anticipate it will continue to be made,” he said. “I came out the other day and very frankly said I anticipate and expect that Herb will continue to lead this basketball program, and I’m going to give him all the support I possibly can.
“And certainly implore everyone else, anybody who has ever had any doubts, to give him full support because he’s going to be our coach in 2014 and my hope is for the foreseeable future thereafter.”
If Sendek was on the hot seat going into this season, it appears things have cooled off quite a bit.
Part of the reason Anderson feels the way he does is that he believes in stability, and given that he has no problem with the job Sendek is doing, there’s no reason to even think about making a change.
So Sendek, who is currently second on the school’s all-time wins list behind Ned Wulk, is not going anywhere anytime soon.
“This team is working in the right direction,” he said. “When you’re talking about recruiting, when you’re talking about trying to retain players and advance your program, I think some stability and eliminate some of the uncertainty of the head coach position is important. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who the leader of that program is, and that’s Herb.”