When Arizona State unexpectedly poached Herm Edwards from ESPN, there was great skepticism over the hire. A word salad announcement trumpeting a new corporate stucture only made things murkier. One element of the plan that was clear, though, was the desire to provide Edwards with continuity at the coordinator level.
Athletic director Ray Andersonsaid this at the time:
“Billy Napier has done an outstanding job with our offense and in my view, Phil Bennett has helped us make progress with our defense. I’ve made it very clear to both of those guys that we want them to have the opportunity to come back. In fact, any head coach who comes in here and doesn’t see that value is not the guy for us.”
In the few short weeks following this statement, both Bennett and Napier have announced they are departing. Bennett is stepping down for personal reasons and Napier is taking the Louisiana-Lafayette head coaching job.
Now, this doesn’t automatically spell doom for the Sun Devils who haven’t had a ton of success with these coordinators in place. It does, however, make an already challenging situation all the more difficult for Edwards.
It’s also unfortunate for Anderson that one of the only sensible action points expressed has been thrown in the dumpster. Perhaps there is value in being intentionally vague and clandestine.
What is Arizona State doing? It’s hard to say. Perhaps even harder than it was yesterday.