Herm Edwards is likely filling the head coaching position at Arizona State University. The President of the University is currently out of the country, prohibiting the move from becoming official per sundevilsource.com. Edwards, 63, has held a slew of football-related jobs throughout his lifetime. After going undrafted out of San Diego State Edwards landed a roster spot with the Eagles and played in the NFL for ten years, staying with Philadelphia for the majority of his career. After his playing days, Edwards eventually found himself as an assistant coach under Tony Dungy, which eventually led to his hiring as the head coach of the New York Jets in 2001. Five seasons later Edwards ended up with a new team, the Kansas City Chiefs. He remained with the Chiefs for three seasons before handing in his headset for a T.V. mic, working at ESPN.
When it comes to stories, Edwards has plenty. After all, he is a part of one of the most iconic moments in NFL history, the “Miracle at the Meadowlands”. Edwards and the Eagles were in New York facing their rival Giants and were facing imminent defeat when the unthinkable happened. Instead of taking a knee the Giants handed the ball to their fullback, but the exchange was fumbled. Edwards was in the right place at the right time, solidifying his place in NFL history by returning the fumble for a game-winning touchdown.
Edwards spent eight seasons as an NFL coach and posted a career record of 54-74. Never posting more than 10 wins in a season and making it to the playoffs four times, it would seem as though Edwards’ teams were typically middle of the line. However, in three of his eight seasons, he finished with four wins or less. Teams that Edwards coached were certainly up-and-down but the most troubling part is when they were “down”. Edwards’ first season in both New York and Kansas City were his best, and his final was his worst. It is understandable for coaches who are fired to finish near the bottom with some of the worst records they have posted with that organization. The issue, however, is how distinct the decline was within teams that Edwards coached.
Edwards certainly is an interesting hire who may have early recruiting appeal. Who wouldn’t want to be coached by the former NFL player, coach, and ESPN analyst? But at the end of the day, Edwards is there to coach the players, not just recruit them, and he failed to do so effectively as a head coach in the past.
Arizona State is a program that sits in the Pac-12, a conference that is slowly getting stronger and stronger. A subpar year for UCLA allowed ASU to snag the number two spot in the Pac-12 South (behind USC), but things promise to get much more difficult with Chip Kelly coming aboard in Los Angeles. Stanford is the powerhouse of the Pac-12 North, but Oregon always has potential to draw a strong recruiting class and dominate the conference. Without a doubt, Edwards has his work cut out for him at his new gig.
On another note, Edwards is an excellent hire for the players off the field. Edwards gave an excellent speech to incoming NFL rookies at the rookie symposium in 2011. A small minority of college football players go on to the NFL, the rest go on to life. While I, like many people, may have my reservations about Edwards as a coach, I have no doubts about him as a leader of men.