ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Arizona State promotes WR coach Rob Likens to offensive coordinator

Dec 15, 2017, 5:55 PM | Updated: 7:11 pm
(Twitter photo: @FootballASU)...
(Twitter photo: @FootballASU)
(Twitter photo: @FootballASU)
LISTEN: Chris Karpman, SunDevilSource.com

The Arizona State Sun Devils are promoting wide receivers coach Rob Likens to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the school announced Friday night.

The promotion of Likens comes on the same day of the official news of former offensive coordinator and associate head coach Billy Napier leaving to become the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette.

“There was no doubt in my mind that Rob Likens was the man we needed to step up and fill this role as offensive coordinator,” head coach Herm Edwards said in a news release.

The school also announced assistant head coach and running backs coach John Simon will continue his current role.

“The biggest thing that sticks out to me in why I chose to pursue this position was our student-athletes,” Likens said in the release.

“It’s also an opportunity to work with Coach Edwards and I am thankful for this opportunity. We hit it off instantly when we met and had discussions about the future and the direction we both saw this program going. Between his energy and mine, I don’t know if kids will be ready to handle us both in the same room,” he said.

Likens certainly has the support of his players.

Prior to the news breaking Friday night, wide receiver N’Keal Harry was asked of the idea of Likens replacing Napier earlier in the day.

“I would love to see that,” Harry said. “He’s, honestly, the most hard-working man I’ve ever met. I’ve never met somebody that can come in here and regardless of what his emotions are or what he’s feeling, he shows us the same energy every day.

“He sacrifices a lot for us. He sacrifices seeing his family. There’s a couple of times, a lot, throughout the season where I don’t even think he got to see his kid awake throughout the whole week. So just to see how hard he works and everything he’s put into this program already in just a year, I feel like he deserves that.”

Likens was the wide receivers coach for the Sun Devils in 2017, his first season with the program. He was the offensive coordinator at Kansas from 2015-16 and also has experience as an offensive coordinator at Southeast Missouri State and Central Connecticut State.

Edwards is still without a defensive coordinator after Phil Bennett announced earlier in the week that he will not be returning next season.

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