ASU hires outside consulting firm in search for next head football coach

Nov 14, 2022, 6:11 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm

ASU interim head coach Shaun Aguano...

Arizona State interim head coach Shaun Aguano during warmups prior to ASU's 45-38 upset win over then-No. 21 Washington at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Oct. 8, 2022. (Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

TEMPE — Arizona State has hired outside help from an organizational consulting firm to aid the university in finding its next head football coach.

“Jed Hughes of Korn Ferry is assisting us in the national search for our next head football coach,” the school told Arizona Sports. “The firm’s experience, expertise and background are outstanding, and its focus on our ongoing search will be extensive and efficient.

“Shaun Aguano remains under consideration for the permanent position and will be given the full opportunity to participate in the formal process.”

The current interim head coach is 2-4 in his first six games at the helm of ASU’s football team. Four of those opponents currently find themselves ranked in the top 16 of the AP Top 25 poll, with No. 25 Oregon State coming to Tempe on Saturday.

Aside from the team’s performance on the field, Aguano has made recruiting Arizona kids a focal point of his tenure in charge — however long that may be. And he has kept that promise by continuously going to high school football games across the Valley and offering scholarships to local talent.

Aguano was also the one to declare a true quarterback battle between Florida transfer Emory Jones and Tucson native Trenton Bouguet, which the latter ended up proving victorious.

And on Monday, Sun Devils defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, who is in his second stint at ASU after serving as a defensive backs coach from 1992-97, was asked what type of candidate fits Arizona State after all the time he’s spent in Tempe.

“Well, you got one. You got the guy running it right now,” he said of Aguano. “You got a local guy that knows the people in the Valley and knows all the high school coaches in this Valley and that wants the job.

“Maybe I’m speaking for him, but you got the perfect candidate. I mean Shaun has done a great job taking over this program and leading it in the direction we’re in.”

“It’s leadership and he brings that to the table. He’s got great leadership qualities and not only that, he’s got the energy,” Henderson said. “You got to have somebody with energy that comes in this program. … You got to have a great recruiting base No. 1. You’re gonna hit all the local high schools, which he will do; try to get the best kids to stay home, which most the time they don’t want to — they want to go see something else and I understand it.

“When the people in this Valley really sit down and think about who could be the next guy, you got him right now, you really do,” he added before a literal mic drop.

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