Herm Edwards may not be ASU’s only candidate for their head coaching vacancy but he’s certainly been the most talked about. Fueling the discussion has been Edwards himself. In a somewhat unusual move which bordered on a PR campaign, the candidate appeared on “Doug & Wolf” on Arizona Sports 98.7 in Phoenix Wednesday morning to state his case.
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“When I got into this profession as a college coach back at San Jose State,” Edwards said, "I knew right then that I had a passion to do this and touch young players lives. I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved on it at every level.”
It’s not a coincidence Edwards, 63, specifically mentioned his stop at San Jose St. where he coached defensive backs in the late 80s. Edwards carefully cultivated his answers during the 14-minute interview to disprove the notion that being away from the college game for nearly 30 years makes him a peculiar candidate for ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson and University President Michael Crow.
“I’ve done a lot in college,” Edwards said. “I’ve been to a lot of college campuses. There are coaches and teams I’ve spoken to. I’ve coached the Under Armour All-American game for the last eight years. I’m one of the head coaches and Steve Mariucci is the other head coach.”
Whether or not any of that prepares Edwards for running a high-level Division I college football program in 2018 is up for debate. Edwards has been working as an NFL analyst on ESPN for the past nine years. Prior to that, he served as the head coach of the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs. Edwards had a career record of 54-74 over eight seasons. He hasn’t coached since 2008 when his Chiefs went 2-14.
"I've gotten a lot of calls in my career here on television,'' Edwards said. "Answered some and said, 'No, thank you.' This is one that there's a connection with [Anderson] and myself, that I owe him to come down there and speak, and so, that's where it's at.”
That connection with Anderson has also caused ASU fans to question the AD’s motives. Is Edwards the best available candidate or is "cronyism" in play as Anderson prepares to interview a long-time friend and former client? Anderson once served as Edwards’ agent. Edwards was initially reported to be a consultant in Anderson’s coaching search but the consultant has now become the candidate as Edwards will interview with Anderson this weekend.
"When you talk, you have discussions with people that you've had relationships with and a lot of things are talked about,'' Edwards said on the radio show. "For me, where I'm at in my life, everything had to come into play where it was a fit. And I think it's more important that it's a fit and this happened to be a fit. I owe [Anderson] a conversation where we could communicate and sit down and talk and we'll see where it goes."
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