Within the last couple of months, ASU and the UofA have named new head football coaches. Former NFL head coach-turned-ESPN analyst Herm Edwards takes over the Sun Devil program while college coach Kevin Sumlin will head up the Wildcats. Both are the first African American head football coaches of these two programs!
Edwards, 63, was head coach for the New York Jets and then the Kansas City Chiefs from 2001 until 2009. Both of his teams had losing records. Edwards entered broadcasting as a football ANALYST for ESPN before being named ASU’s new head coach in December.
ASU President Michael Crow and Athletic Director Ray Anderson have high hopes that Edwards will help the university take its next big step in athletics. They want to attract top-notch players and to have more players graduate. And they want championship-level teams.
Edwards has broader goals for his players.
“It’s about winning football games—that is a fact—but it’s really using football to build men,” he said in his first press conference as head coach. “So when they leave this university…that these guys are equipped to deal with what’s out there. With all the issues that we have in this world…they’ll be good fathers; they’ll be good men; they’ll be good husbands; they’ll be good citizens.”
On Jan. 14, UofA Athletic Director Dave Heeke announced that Sumlin would be the new Wildcats head football coach. Sumlin successfully headed up University of Houston for four seasons before leaving to coach Texas A&M for six winning seasons.
Sumlin, 53, takes over a young, SCRAPPY Wildcats team, which had 61 freshmen on it. He says he looks forward to building on this “strong foundation.”