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ASU leaders join the show: Best quotes from Day 4 of Newsmakers Week

Arizona State University Vice President for University Athletics and Athletic Director Ray Anderson does an interview with The Doug & Wolf Show on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports)

Newsmakers Week on Arizona Sports’ Doug & Wolf wrapped on Friday with quite the lineup of guests who make some of the big decisions across Arizona sports.

Arizona State’s leadership was well represented with Ray Anderson and Dr. Michael Crow, while Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim hit on a ton with the NFL offseason about to get fully in swing.

Here are all of the interviews, along with one quote from each guest:

Ray Anderson, Arizona State athletic director

On his five-year extension: “I’m really happy to partner with (president Michael Crow) and all the folks at ASU again. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us that’s exciting. We think we’ve accomplished some things in our seven years here, but not nearly the goals and the missions that we have set out.”

Steve Keim, Arizona Cardinals general manager

On Kyler Murray’s next step: “The little things, whether it’s an understanding of coverage concepts and reading defenses, it’s something that he’s just going to get better with time. Again, he’s a guy that’s committed, he’s passionate. I love his intensity. He and I have had talks about how to channel that intensity. I think obviously the best is yet to come with Kyler.”

Xavier Gutierrez, Arizona Coyotes president and CEO

On the recent report from The Athletic: “The biggest part that bothered me was the fact that we are changing the narrative of this organization and when you don’t have individuals that necessarily buy in to what you are doing to transform this to a best-in-class organization, this is the result that you get. It really, really impacts the team members that we do have, it impacts the organization and it diminishes the successes that in the middle of a pandemic, the middle of an economic downturn, this health crisis, the progress that we are making just gets overlooked and overshadowed by this.”

Dr. Michael Crow, Arizona State president

On the upcoming departure of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott: “Larry gave 10 great years, really modernized the conference … I’m sure he’ll have a great career going forward and Pac-12 is gonna find someone to take everything to the next level. And particularly to the next level in this really, really complex era of digital media.”

Jim Pitman, Phoenix Mercury general manager

On Diana Taurasi: “She is legitimately the GOAT. She is the greatest winner in the history of women’s basketball, a better person off the court than even on the court. It was important for us to make sure that she had the opportunity to finish her career in Phoenix — and not only finish her career, she’s playing at a high level. She was second-team All-WNBA last year, was fifth in the league in scoring. She keeps herself in such incredible condition. Just watching her work out now, it’s amazing what she can do. She’s not one that relies solely on athleticism. It’s her smarts and her talents are what set her apart — and obviously her competitiveness because there’s nobody more competitive than Diana Taurasi.”

Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon president

On one thing he’d fix in college athletics: “We’ve gotta have sustainable financial models. There’s a lot of talk about the power-five conferences, the mid-major conferences, the inequity fair — I don’t worry about it. I just think as president and athletic departments, we have to make really, really smart decisions about how we run our athletic departments.”

Mike Nealy, Fiesta Bowl executive director

On if the Fiesta Bowl this year was a success: “It’s successful. We had the game, right? In the COVID word, if you could actually pull off and have the game — heck, we were worried of course all the way up until the kickoff. You just never know what’s going to happen. But a different, unique, difficult year, but I think it was a good year.”

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