Arizona State made it official and hired Herm Edwards as its next head coach, the school announced Sunday night.
Edwards hasn’t coached since being fired by the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2008 season. He will become the school’s 24th head coach, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents.
The 63-year-old will succeed Todd Graham, who was dismissed by the university last Sunday.
“Passion for my faith, my family and my occupation as a football coach are the things that have driven me back to the grass,” Edwards said in a statement. “My personal commitment to build young men to be whole people through the game of football is completely in alignment with the vision President Michael Crow and Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson have for this program.
“I stand ready for the challenge of working with them to elevate Sun Devil Football. I am very excited and humbled to be the Arizona State head football coach.”
Edwards has been a studio commentator for ESPN since his last coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006-08. He also was the coach of the New York Jets from 2001-05.
As an NFL head coach, Edwards owns a 54-74 regular-season record. He was 39-41 with the Jets, who reached the playoffs three times in his tenure.
“During my years with and around the NFL, there is not a more respected man that has the passion for the game of football like that of Herm Edwards,” Anderson said. “I have no doubt his ability to lead, inspire and develop young men will translate into his staff and into recruiting, and I’m confident he is the visionary and leader we need to command this new ASU football model.”
Edwards’ only college coaching experience was from 1987-1989, when he was the defensive backs coach at San Jose State.
Anderson, a former NFL executive, said the athletic department will feature a New Leadership Model that will parallel an NFL team’s approach “using a general manager structure” to form a collaborative approach to managing the football program.
“Our goal for this football program is to reach unprecedented heights, and therefore we need to find a way to operate more innovatively and efficiently than we have in the past,” Anderson said in the statement. “In the spirit of innovation, our vision for this program is to have a head coach who serves as a CEO and is the central leader with a collaborative staff around him that will elevate the performance of players and coaches on the field, in the classroom and in our community.
“Equally important, the head coach will be a dynamic and tireless recruiter.”
Graham was 46-31 in six seasons for Arizona State. He went 18-19 in the final three seasons but guided the school to a bowl game for the fifth time in sixth seasons this year.
Graham has three seasons left on a contract that runs through the 2020 season and reportedly is owed at least $11 million.