Herm Edwards' era officially underway after introductory press conference

The Sun Devils will introduce a new model for CFB featuring a head coach as the "CEO"

The last eight days have been a roller coaster ride for ASU football as the hunt for a new head coach spurred rumors and controversy, but it all came to an end on the night of Dec. 3

Herman Edwards was officially named the head coach for the Sun Devils.

During his introductory press conference on Monday in Tempe, Edwards did not take long to address the controversial topic of his lengthy absence from both NFL and collegiate coaching.

“Some people question, ‘Well you haven’t coached in a long time.’ Turn the TV on on Wednesday; I’ll be back in the studio in Bristol, and I’ll be coaching football, by the way. That’s what I do – I coach football, and I’ve been coaching football my whole life, and this is why I'm here today, because of the vision,” Edwards said. “There’s something that a great former player said here, Pat Tillman. When he talked about passion, he said it ignites your soul. Football ignites my soul – it’s what makes me go, this is what I do.”

Edwards said he has a burning passion for the game of football, but that’s not why he was brought in.

Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson said on Nov. 26 that his next head coach specifically needed to be a “dynamic recruiter.”

Edwards has yet to prove his ability as a recruiter as he has never been a head coach at the collegiate level. However, he will use his NFL experience and time with ESPN in the recruiting process, which will come sooner rather than later as he finishes up with ESPN on Friday.

“(I’ll be there (ESPN) until) Friday and then I’m out recruiting,” Edwards said. “We have some young people coming in here this weekend and I can’t wait to meet them and tell them why it’s important to come to this university.”

Edwards's former players have been quoted many times praising him for his ability to make them better men. Edwards said he prides himself on being able to leave an impact on those he coaches.

One question that arises is how does Edwards plan to deliver on the field?

“I’m here to build a program on top of the foundation that’s already been built here. That’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to be relevant in the Pacific-12 (Conference). We want to be relevant,” Edwards said. “We want to be one of those teams that people say, ‘Hey if you go to Arizona State and you play in that stadium, be careful.’ I don’t want to hear about USC, Stanford, or Oregon or UCLA – I heard about that my whole life growing up.”

This season, the Sun Devils lost to three of those four schools mentioned, and Edwards has been brought here to change that. 

Edwards said he is going to build on top of the foundation ASU already has, and according to Anderson’s press release, he’ll have to do so as both a head coach and CEO.

"In the spirit of innovation, our vision for this program is to have a head coach who serves as a CEO and is the central leader with a collaborative staff around him that will elevate the performance of players and coaches on the field, in the classroom and in our community," Anderson said. "Equally important, the head coach will be a dynamic and tireless recruiter.” 

ASU’s attempt at creating a new model for college football is anything but ordinary, being that this approach has yet to be taken by those already succeeding in CFB with the traditional model. 

“Somewhere along the line a model of consistent performance, consistent structure, a team of individuals supporting that are supporting the football program over longer periods of time, that’s what we’re looking for,” ASU President Michael Crow said. “Coach Edwards has experience in this model. Ray (Anderson) has experience in this model, and we’re looking to see if we can form a college version of this model.”

Anderson said the improved model will feature an “all hands on deck” approach including support from various members of the university.

Edwards said as the CEO and head coach of ASU, he’ll learn how to delegate.

Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.   

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