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Edwards to interview with ASU over weekend, ‘owes’ talk with Anderson

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED BY AP IMAGES FOR NFLPA- American team head coach Herm Edwards talks with his team before the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013 in Carson, Calif. (Ric Tapia/AP Images for NFLPA)
LISTEN: Herm Edwards, ASU Head Coaching Candidate

Nine years removed from his last full-time coaching job, ESPN analyst Herm Edwards was a known adviser to Arizona State Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson as he began a search for a new head football coach following the firing of Todd Graham.

Turns out, Edwards himself became a serious candidate, as 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Paul Calvisi reported Tuesday.

The simple question: Why? And why give college a try for the first time since he was the San Jose State defensive backs coach in 1987-89?

“I knew right then I had a passion to do this, to touch peoples’ lives,” Edwards said while joining Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Wednesday. “When you go on television, I think sometimes people assume because you’re on television that you’re not coaching football. You actually are. You’re not on the field everyday with the players, but you actually are.

“I’ve visited a lot of college campuses,” he added. “I’ve coached the Under Armour All-American game the last eight years. It’s an opportunity. This is one that there’s a connection with the AD there, Ray Anderson and myself, that I owe him to come down there and speak, and so that’s where it’s at.”

Edwards said he will be working at ESPN until Friday and will interview with ASU over the weekend.

He added that he receives calls about returning to full-time coaching jobs every year but rarely has interest in the opportunities.

“Where I’m at in my life, everything has to come into play where it was a fit. I think it’s more important that it’s a fit,” he said. “I think I owe (Anderson) a conversation where we can communicate and sit down and talk.

“It’s for both of us because we have so much respect for each other. I think you have to respect people in life. You owe them a conversation, let’s sit down and talk.”

The 63-year-old’s only college coaching experience came at San Jose State. Most recently, he was the Kansas City Chiefs head coach (2006-08) and before that he led the New York Jets (2001-05).

Edwards went 54-74 in his eight NFL seasons and took the Jets to three playoff appearances. He led Kansas City to a 9-7 record and lost in the AFC Wild Card game in 2006 but faltered to 4-12 and 2-14 in his final two years in the NFL.

Anderson also said he hoped an incoming coach would consider retaining defensive coordinator Phil Bennett and offensive coordinator Billy Napier, something that Edwards would be willing to do, reported Calvisi.

A former NFL defensive back from 1977-86, Edwards played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Rams.

Edwards joins a shortlist of potential Sun Devil coaching hires that, according to reports, includes fired Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason and Michigan passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton.

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