Herm Edwards hasn’t coached football in any capacity, at any level in nearly a decade, but for some reason Arizona State thinks he’s the man to lead them out of mediocrity. After a rapid courtship it appears the Sun Devils have opted to hire the ESPN NFL analyst to lead their football team and the move is nothing if not an enormous gamble.
I like Edwards and find him entertaining and engaging on television. I believe he’d be a good mentor for high school and college-age kids. That said, he’s 63, hasn’t coached in college in nearly 30 years and was last seen on a football field before the Kansas City Chiefs fired him in 2008.
On to of that, when he was in the NFL, it’s not like Edwards was winning games. He finished his career with a regular season record of 54-74. What about him screams “next great college coach”?
Look, this could work out, especially if he is just being brought in as a CEO-type coach to oversee things. He’ll need two great coordinators — Arizona State is reportedly interested in retaining both of their current guys — and a brilliant staff around him. If reports are to be believed, Edwards will actually be keeping the team’s entire coaching staff. That could help the transition, but there are other, more qualified guys out there Arizona State should have at least pursued.
Memphis coach Mike Norvell has posted a record of 18-6 in his two years there, including a 10-1 mark this season. He’s a rising star at 36 and also spent four years at Arizona State as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (from 20012 to 2015) before taking the Memphis job. You’re telling me he wasn’t worth a heavy pursuit?
Kevin Sumlin just got fired by Texas A&M and was briefly connected to the ASU job. He’s certainly a more palatable option than Edwards. There are about a dozen other high-level coordinators or up-and-coming head coaches who were worthy of the job and they went with a sexagenarian who hasn’t coached a game since 2008. Really?
Look, I wasn’t sure firing Todd Graham was the right move, but I understood why Arizona State did it. But if you’re going to fire that guy and pay him $12.3 million to go away, you should probably have a better option than Herm Edwards waiting in the wings.
Again, this could wind up being a decent hire in the end, but does anyone have any confidence that it will?