Coaching change is in the air.
Down south, at that institution folks in Tempe don’t like
to talk about, there was a coaching change with former
Michigan and West Virginia head man Rich Rodriguez taking
over for the deposed Mike Stoops.
Now, there’s unrest at Arizona State as well. The Sun
Devils stumbled to a 4-game losing streak to finish their
regular season at 6-6. Dreams of playing in the Rose Bowl
have been replaced by the reality that change is coming.
Dennis Erickson was 31-30 in his five-year tenure at ASU,
and if you take away his first season in which the Sun
Devils posted a stellar 10-3 mark, his record was 21-27.
There will be plenty of speculation on whom the new coach
of the Sun Devils will be, and this space will act as your
conduit to what’s happening in Arizona State’s coaching
Tuesday, December 13th
Just days after Jim L. Mora was introduced as UCLA’s new
head man, a very unpopular choice in Westwood, ESPN’s Adam
Schefter reported that axed Chiefs head coach Todd Haley,
who was fired on Monday, may end up in Tempe.
I am not privy to all those negotiations that were going
on and every time I’ve been with Lee I said.. he, you
know, has done every contract for me and he gets it to a
point where he says June we’ve got to make a decision
whether we want to do it now or not, and I never got that
Arizona State University ought to do what it should have
done from the beginning and hand the keys to the football
program to offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone.
Monday, December 12th
Sources: UCLA’s Jim Mora is considering offering staff
roles to Noel Mazzone, Steve Broussard, Adrian Klemm,
former ASU coach Larry Marmie
Even as Utah coach Kyle Whittingham continues to be
mentioned in the coaching rumor mill as a candidate for
openings at Arizona State and Penn State, the Utah Utes
are preparing to make him a slightly richer man.
Is Arizona State trying to poach a fellow Pac-12 coach —
as in Utah’s Kyle Whittingham? Maybe. The Sun Devils
certainly could do worse. Whittingham, in our mind, is a
top-20 coach without question.
With each hour that passes, Arizona State athletic
director Lisa Love continues to make Arizona athletic
director Greg Byrne look smarter and smarter.
Following the season, Byrne moved quickly to hire former
Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez. It’s the second time
in his career that Byrne has been decisive in hiring a
head coach. As the athletic director at Mississippi
State, Byrne hired Dan Mullen. He later admitted that he
was certain about Mullen just half-way through Mullen’s
Saturday, December 10th
ASU Update: Sources tell me that current HC list includes:
Wilcox, Helfrich, English, Sumlin (Note: Jim Leavitt no
longer on list)
“I am proud to announce today that Jim Mora has accepted
of head football coach at UCLA,” athletic director Dan
Guerrero said in a
statement. “He has been a head coach at the game’s highest
has clearly demonstrated to me that he is hungry and eager
to return to
Georgia coach Mark Richt has declined Texas A&M’s offer to
be its next
coach, according to a high-ranking A&M insider, apparently
man left in the Aggies’ search: Houston’s Kevin Sumlin.
Friday, December 9th
Jones said the Arizona State job was one of two offers he
received but did not seek out after the regular season. He
declined to name the other.
Patterson’s reported preference for experience would keep
former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt, current Air
Force coach Troy Calhoun and Chicago Bears offensive
coordinator Mike Martz “eligible”, although there’s been
no overtures from ASU or reports that they’re in
Thursday, December 8th
You could fairly question who’s making the call at ASU.
The athletic director is Lisa Love, but in July, the Sun
Devils hired something they call a chief operating
officer, former Portland Trail Blazers executive Steve
Patterson, and he’s also a key figure. His bio on the ASU
website says he oversees facilities, marketing and
coordinates with the Sun Devil club.
Wednesday night, ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Jon
Gruden told ArizonaSports 620 that former South Florida
coach Jim Leavitt, in his first season as linebackers
coach with the San Francisco 49ers, would be a nice fit.
Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi had said “donor backlash” and
“background questions” came into play for ASU.
Another possible reason was because June Jones has a $2
million buyout in his contract with his current school,
Southern Methodist University.
Wednesday, December 7th
Arizona State has ended contract talks with Southern
Methodist coach June Jones due primarily to booster
pressure and dissatisfaction with the potential hire in
the broader community, ASUDevils.com has learned.
ASU’s major supporters also had some serious questions
about June Jones’ background at his various coaching
stops, which have also contributed to this Wednesday
Just confirmed that major backlash on June Jones hiring
has ASU backing off. ASU is not hiring June Jones.
ASU Update: How close was June Jones to taking over ASU?
I’m told by source that Jones called Erickson last night
about his recruiting class
Larry Fedora, the football coach at Southern Mississippi,
has agreed to become UNC’s next coach, three sources close
to the job search said late Tuesday night.
Fedora’s hiring will have to be approved by Chancellor
Holden Thorp and the university’s board of trustees.
Fedora agreed last night to take the job after talking
with Bubba Cunningham, UNC’s new athletics director, the
Illini Nation was buzzing at reports that Illinois
athletic director Mike Thomas appeared close Tuesday night
to hiring Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, but Houston sources
cautioned that they still expect Sumlin to end up at Texas
Signs still point toward the Aggies eventually tabbing the
presumed leading candidate all along, however, Houston’s
Kevin Sumlin, who guided the Cougars to a 12-1 season so
far. Sumlin, Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora,
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and Calhoun are
believed to have interviewed with Byrne over the past two
days in New York City, where National Football Foundation
activities are taking place.
June Jones is either staying at SMU or still being
considered by Arizona State, according to a pair of
somewhat conflicting reports. Whether or not that his
return to SMU would have been his preference, anyway was
something less than clear, as reports had previously
surfaced that Jones was not very popular among Sun Devils
Tuesday, December 6th
Arizona State’s Vice President of Athletics, Lisa Love,
traveled to New York City to interview Southern
Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora and Houston head
coach, Kevin Sumlin who in that order were the Sun Devils’
top candidates. Sure enough, the tandem was also Texas
A&M’s front runners.
As I write this article it seems more than likely that
both schools are about to lose out on their prime choices.
#SMU HC June Jones has notified his staff and faculty he
plans to remain at SMU. #Stangs #ASU
As the second week of Arizona State’s coaching search
kicked off, Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love
traveled to New York City Monday where two candidates,
Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora and Houston coach Kevin
Sumlin, are in town to attend the 54th annual National
Football Foundation Awards Dinner Tuesday.
Fedora’s name has been linked to a handful of jobs,
including North Carolina, Texas A&M, Arizona State and
Fedora has gained steam, said one source. Fedora graduated
from A&M Consolidated and was an assistant at Baylor and
Oklahoma State, and in the past has called A&M his “dream
Monday, December 5th
We want consistency, not a team that is up one year and
down the next, not a program that has one mostly good
decade followed by a mostly mediocre one. We intend to be
in the hunt for the conference championship every year,
winning our division and playing for the Rose Bowl.
Source: SMU top recruiter Adrian Klemm would have interest
in coming to ASU with or without June Jones. Klemm has
house in AZ, recruits LA.
The SMU football coach, who left Hawaii for more money, is
reportedly talking to Arizona State about replacing Dennis
Erickson to be their next head coach. This departure would
be a huge blow to SMU.
Meanwhile, at Arizona State, it appears that Sumlin might
not be completely out of the picture, but that SMU coach
June Jones’ name is front-and-center at present. Still,
there are plenty of other names in the rumor swirl.
“At this point in my career I’m very, very happy at the
University of Houston,” Sumlin said. “I think there’s a
lot of things that can happen with us. I think conference
realignment is critical and I think the stadium issue is
critical for us to move forward and there’s some
limitations if those things don’t happen.”
Sunday, December 4th
University President Michael Crow was among the school
made the trip, with a athletic department booster
providing a private
Gulfstream jet for their use.
His run ‘n’ shoot attack would fit right in with the new
Pac-12, which has
added scorers Mike Leach and Rich Rodriguez to offensive
Kelly, but it would actually mean an interesting change of
SMU ranks highly in passing yards, they rank only No. 93
In the coming days, Fedora can be sure to expect plenty
more calls from
Saunders because he actually won a second title on
football’s hottest coaching commodity. He did so by
ripping the crown
from the head of the coach standing on the opposite
“I said earlier this week I wasn’t going to talk to
anybody, period, during
this football season. … I actually said that three weeks
ago. Many of the
things that have been reported have now been proven to be
already. I have been consistent with that.”
Thursday, December 1st
Mike Leach’s two-year exile from coaching is over because
a moribund Pac-12 program was able to do what Maryland and
so many others could not: It got past the baggage. As a
result, the Cougars won’t be moribund much longer.
Wednesday night, Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi tweeted the
Multiple sources confirm ASU has made contact w/ reps for
Kevin Sumlin & they are “down the road.” Ready to spend
$2.5M per yr.
It appears Sherman has about a 50-50 chance – this could
still go either way and nothing has been decided for
certain – of returning for a fifth season. This has all
moved very fast over the past 24 hours, perhaps with the
idea that some mightily influential Aggies, with the
backing of school president R. Bowen Loftin, have already
targeted a candidate to replace Sherman, 25-25 over his
first four seasons.
Wednesday, November 30th
The 50-year-old Leach replaces Paul Wulff, who was
dismissed Tuesday morning. The hiring of Leach would seem
to mesh with Washington State athletic director Bill Moos’
comment earlier at the press conference where he announced
Wullf’s firing that he likes a “flashy, high-octane
offense that lights up the scoreboard.”
But UH athletic director Mack Rhoades and Sumlin have
already been proactive in talking about the head coach’s
future at UH and both said on Monday that they’ve had
preliminary discussions about a contract renegotiation
Houston coach Kevin Sumlin deflected questions about his
future Tuesday, saying he’s had conversations with
athletics director Mack Rhoades about a possible contract
“Nobody has talked to me all year,” Sumlin said. “No one
has contacted me from anywhere in the country about a
coaching job anywhere. Even if they tried, at this point,
I wouldn’t even talk to them. We’re in the middle of the
While it is almost certain he one day will move on to
greener pastures, that day might not yet be upon us.
Sumlin should have his heart and mind set on a better
landing spot than Arizona State, Illinois, Kansas,
Mississippi or Washington State, all of which have
Mike Bellotti is on the short list for ASU…..
Martz’s contract ends with the Bears at season’s end,
having turned down an extension offered by the Bears this
offseason, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tuesday, November 29th
Arizona State has made Houston coach Kevin Sumlin its
primary target in its search for a new head football coach
according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the
Go ahead and add another name to the already long list of
possibilities to replace Dennis Erickson as the head coach
of the Arizona State Sun Devils. Longtime NFL coach Jim
Mora Jr. has interest in the position.
Reports are out now that Arizona State will fire head
football coach, Dennis Erickson. Personally, there is
something that fits here for Mike Leach. I believe if
Leach had the crop of talent that Erickson had to work
with this past season, there is zero way that team
finishes 6-6. The Sun Devils are more likely to go after a
Mike Bellotti, Kevin Sumlin type, though.
Arizona State was widely considered the favorite to
represent the South Division in the first Pac-12 title
game. With USC ineligible for the conference championship,
the Sun Devils had an open path and got off to a solid 6-2
start. However, the wheels fell off in November. Arizona
State finished with four consecutive losses, including
disappointing efforts against Washington State and
Arizona. The collapse cost Dennis Erickson his job after
five seasons in Tempe. Erickson recorded a 31-30 record,
and he was never able to capitalize off a 10-3 record in
Monday, November 28th
My sources report the following names are on ASU radar =
Kevin Sumlin, Ron English, Kirby Smart, Justin Wilcox,
Mark Helfrich, Randy Shannon
Why the delay in official announcement? I’m told by
sources that more serious changes to ASU Athletic Dept are
being seriously considered.
According to reports Sunday, Arizona State’s Dennis
Erickson is out, and Washington State’s Paul Wulff will
not return, barring a last-minute reprieve. All signs
point to UCLA’s Rick Neuheisel joining them — and
Arizona’s already deposed coach, Mike Stoops — on the
unemployment line after losing badly in their last
regular-season games. And former Texas Tech coach Mike
Leach just set his watch to Pacific Standard Time.
Mike Leach: It seems like the entire country is
interesting in Mike Leach. I am told that Leach is
waiting to see what happens at Arizona State. A source
tells me that Leach believes he can win big and quickly at