“When It’s Time For Change, You Make The Change.” | Herm Edwards Out As ASU Head Coach Amid Poor Start And NCAA Violations

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“You play to win the game!”

Those were the words of Herm Edwards, then head coach of the New York Jets in 2002. It was one his “Herm-isms,” but it was simple and to the point. Well, Herm didn’t do enough winning at Arizona State University and he is now no longer their head coach, according to reports.

Athletic director Ray Anderson, who has known Edwards for decades once serving as his agent, said the decision was a “mutual agreement” between the parties. But Edwards’ 26-20 record, only one bowl win in five years, and an NCAA investigation was too much to overcome.

“Our responsibility is to try and infuse some new energy, new urgency into the program. Toughest day of my professional career, no question about it to have to separate from Coach Edwards but we’ve known each other a long time and always been very honest. We did not get it done here at the level that any of us desire to and when it’s time for change, you make the change. We feel like for this current team for our future, for our staff, our university, this is the appropriate change at the appropriate time,” Anderson said.

Last June an investigation was launched into recruiting violations which occurred during a COVID-dead period. As a result of the investigation five coaches left the program, including former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce, who was recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator. There was even talk that he might replace Edwards as head coach.

Edwards was always a strange hire for ASU. Yes, he had tons of NFL experience, but when he was hired in 2017 the last time he had coached in college was 1989.

The game done changed in those intervening years.

ASU won eight games twice in the seasons Edwards coached, but they always seemed to underachieve. And for a coach that always preached discipline. His ASU teams were among the worst in that category in the country.

Last year only two schools in all the FBS were called for more penalties than ASU. There were several games in which they had more than 100 yards in penalties, including a road loss at BYU where they were called for seven false start penalties.

“You’re always thinking ahead, looking for improvement. For hope for additional discipline, for additional stepping up in the bright moments and really delivering and some of that did not occur quite frankly, reverted back to some of the penalties and just not making big plays at big moments, at the end of the day, not matter what you say, the head coach is responsible  for developing and environment and a culture and atmosphere where those things happen. And when you don’t you have to acknowledge it and be prepare to make tough decisions,” Anderson continued.

Edwards’ poor management of the program also led to a number of player transfers. Seventeen players entered the portal before the season began, and Saturday’s embarrassing 30-21 home loss to Eastern Michigan and their backup quarterback was all Anderson needed to see.


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