With Rich Rodriguez going to in-state rival Arizona and Mike Leach to Washington State, and with Chris Petersen rumored to be UCLA’s top target, Arizona State desperately needs to hit a home run in finding a replacement for Dennis Erickson if it expects to keep pace in the Pac-12 coaching arms race.
Reportedly, the Sun Devils have swung for the coaching fences. Whether they connect or strikeout remains to be seen.
Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic is reporting that ASU has offered its head coaching job to Kevin Sumlin. The current Houston coach has been connected to several openings this offseason, including this one, so the report comes as little surprise.
It remains unclear if Sumlin, whose Cougars will play this weekend for both a Conference USA title and a berth in a BcS bowl game, will accept the position. One thing that’s likely quite certain is that neither Sumlin nor UH will be pleased with the report leaking two days before the championship game.
Earlier this week, Sumlin and athletic director Mack Rhoades confirmed that they have begun preliminary discussions on a revamped contract. On Tuesday, Sumlin denied that he had been contacted by anyone about a job anywhere.
UPDATED 3:29 p.m. ET: A short time after we posted this piece, a source close to Sumlin emailed CFT to tell us that the report that Sumlin has been offered the ASU job is “completely false”. In a followup email, the source acknowledged that he would not be surprised if there were an offer from ASU, as well as other schools, “at some point in the future.”