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ASU president Crow: Herm Edwards hire was about trust in AD

Arizona State University president Michael Crow does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

Arizona State president Michael Crow ultimately could make the final call on the Sun Devils’ out-of-the-box hire for their most public and well-paid job.

Herm Edwards indeed met with Crow to earn his trust before being named ASU’s head football coach, but the school president saw the hire of Edwards, who’d been out of coaching for nine years, from a different perspective.

It was athletic director and vice president for university athletics Ray Anderson who Crow trusted in making the decision.

“So it’s really jump on the Ray Anderson train,” Crow told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “Just look at the coaches that have been hired and how we’re doing.”

Related: Anderson has hired 17 of ASU’s 22 coaches

Since landing at ASU in 2014, Anderson has invested in Olympic sports as much as the basketball and football teams.

He’s pulled former Olympic national team coaches to Tempe in swimming (Bob Bowman) and wrestling (Zeke Jones), made the hire for the national title-winning women’s golf team (Missy Farr-Kaye) and helped the men’s hockey team led by Greg Powers create its program from the ground up.

Those outcomes, Crow said, were enough to convince him that Edwards and a restructured football department would lead to success.

“When I met Herman and had the chance to sit down with him for a few hours, I could see immediately that the skillsets that Ray has been moving toward in all of our coaches was present and abundant in Coach Edwards,” Crow said.


Following comments Wednesday by Anderson on fiscal responsibility in athletics on Doug & Wolf, Crow said that he and other Pac-12 schools openly discuss over-spending, especially when it comes to football or basketball coaches.

“We talk about having enough resources for all of our sports to be supported. We’re not going down the path of other conferences,” he said.

Arizona State aims to pay a “fair market price” for base salaries, but Crow said the contracts he and Anderson have been using include many incentives for both academic and athletic goals.

“This notion of $7.5 million base salaries, 10-year contracts and $70 million buyouts and all these things, that’s not good for college athletics,” Crow said.


Crow on how the College Football Playoff should be changed: “I think it should be conference champions playing conference champions, period. We should never have a national championship which has two teams from the same conference. It doesn’t actually pick up on what is actually the competitive position. How does anyone actually know that the Pac-12 Champion is worse than anyone else?”

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