Arizona State’s ‘New Leadership Model’ is keeping the leader around for a little bit longer it seems.
The Arizona Republic reports that the school has given athletic director Ray Anderson a three-year contract extension that will keep in Tempe through September 2022. The deal, which includes a bump in base salary from $642,000 to $800,000, was actually approved last year and took effect in July of 2017.
The 64-year-old has been in charge at ASU since 2014 and spent years in the NFL in both the league office and as a former agent before that. One of his clients back in the day just so happens to be Herm Edwards, who was controversially hired to lead the football program in December after Todd Graham was fired as head coach following the Sun Devils’ regular season finale against rival Arizona.
The Republic notes that Anderson has already hired a whopping 17 head coaches so far in his tenure, with the high-profile additions of Edwards and men’s basketball coach Bobby Hurley being some of the most notable.
Some of the clauses obtained by the paper in the new deal are also quite interesting, including a $2 million retention bonus if Anderson remains AD through the end of the contract and up to $1 million in buyout money should he look to terminate the deal.
Are you an all-time great at Arizona State? If not, do you have an old connection to Herm Edwards? If you check either of those two boxes, congrats on being added to the coaching staff of the Sun Devils as an analyst.
The latest name on that list was announced by the school on Thursday morning as former ASU receiver Derek Hagan was named an offensive analyst for his old program.
“We are extremely pleased to be adding Derek Hagan to our coaching staff,” Edwards said in a statement. “I am enthusiastic about what Derek brings to the table as not only one of the greatest receivers in school history, but as a former NFL player as well. He will be a valuable asset to our staff.”
“With all of the positive things that are happening with Sun Devil Football I wanted to be a part of that,” Hagan added. “I wanted to do something to help Coach Edwards and the staff take the program to the next level. I had a nice high school career, but ASU is the place in which I elevated my game. It started daily in practice and eventually carried over to the games. There’s nothing like the Maroon and Gold.”
Hagan starred in Tempe from 2002-05, setting numerous offensive records at the school and leaving college as the all-time Pac-12 leader in receptions. He was a third-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in the 2006 NFL Draft and played for parts of eight seasons in the league.
Former NFL offensive lineman Kevin Mawae and school legend Danny White are among those who are also involved with the program in an off the field role.
Arizona State is bringing back Dan Cozzetto for a third stint on staff, the program announced Tuesday. A 39-year coaching veteran, Cozzetto spent two previous successful stints with the Sun Devils. First, he was the club’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach from 1992-99, a run that included a Pac-10 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance in 1996. He returned to serve as tight ends coach in 2007-08, which saw the Sun Devils share the Pac-10 title in 2007.
“We feel very fortunate to add someone with several decades of experience coaching at Arizona State and in the Pac-12 Conference,” Herm Edwards said in a statement. “Dan has enjoyed success wherever he has been in his career. I am eagerly looking forward to working closely with him and exchanging ideas and gaining his input.”
Cozzetto’s specific duties were not disclosed in the release.
Cozzetto most recently worked as an offensive consultant at Oregon State, and prior to that was the head coach at Phoenix College.
“I am elated to have the opportunity to come back to the place that I call my home,” says Cozzetto. “With someone the caliber of Herm Edwards at the helm and the impressive staff he has assembled, I just hope that I can contribute in any capacity that they need me to. Our objective is to win the Pac-12 title and that will be my goal, to help the staff achieve that accomplishment. I have a lot of experience within the Pac-12 Conference and at ASU so I hope to put that experience to good use.”
Despite this being a new year, John Humphrey simply can’t shake the injury bug.
In 2017, Humphrey missed four games after injuring his knee in Arizona State’s season opener. On Thursday, the rising redshirt junior suffered another injury, albeit significantly more serious than the first as first-year head coach Herm Edwards confirmed that the wide receiver will miss the entire 2018 season because of a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Humphrey was a three-star member of Oklahoma’s 2015 recruiting class, rated as the No. 61 wide receiver in the country and the No. 67 player at any position in the state of Texas. In April of 2016, he announced his decision to transfer from OU; a month later, he announced his decision to transfer to ASU.
After sitting out the 2016 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Humphrey put up huge numbers in his Sun Devils debut, catching seven passes for 123 yards and a touchdown in ASU’s season-opening win over New Mexico State. In large part because of that first injury, however, he finished the season with just 13 catches, 177 yards and the one touchdown.
Prior to the second injury, he had been penciled in as a starter for ASU this season.
As Herm Edwards gets back into the coaching routine at Arizona State, he is showing he is not exactly out of touch with what it takes to connect with the kids these days. Well, if you think breaking out a few moves on the practice field to some turn-of-the-century jams can do the trick.
Edwards was caught strutting on the field while the sound system was playing Nelly’s “Ride Wit Me,” a song Edwards later confessed to listening to on a regular basis during his early-morning workouts.
The hiring of Edwards by Arizona State was an eye-raising one for the program because Edwards had been removed from coaching for an extended period of time, and it had been even longer since he last coached at the college level. But maybe some things never change. As Edwards has said before as he returns to coaching, it’s still the same job. We’ll see how this all plays out in the fall, but it is good to see Edwards letting loose this spring.