Herm Edwards became the second Power Five coach to be fired in as many weeks.
On Sunday, Arizona State announced it was parting ways with Edwards after the Sun Devils lost 30–21 to East Michigan on Saturday night. The loss reduced ASU to 1–2 after the Sun Devils lost to Oklahoma State in the second week.
“We have made the decision to immediately change the direction of our football program,” Arizona State Athletic Director Ray Anderson said in a statement. “By mutual agreement, Coach Edwards and I have decided that he will step down from his duties as our head coach. The essence of this is to do what is best for our current team, staff and university. I understand the frustration. should work better, and that starts with our decision today.”
According to the Rival Devils digest, running back coach Sean Aguano will be the team’s interim head coach. Exactly one week before the state of Arizona made the decision to fire Edwards, the state of Nebraska announced that Scott Frost had stepped down as head coach following a home loss to South Georgia.
Arizona State finished above .500 in each of Edwards’ three full seasons with the team, but during the off-season, the NCAA was investigating recruiting irregularities after ASU allegedly accepted recruits on campus during NCAA-mandated hiring inactivity periods. Five assistant coaches left during the investigation, including defensive coordinator and former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce.
Following the 2021 season, the Sun Devils also dropped many players from the program, including LSU starting quarterback Jayden Daniels. The team’s new quarterback was Florida transfer Emory Jones.
Edwards, 68, was hired by the State of Arizona ahead of the 2018 season by Anderson, Edwards’ former agent. The former NFL head coach came to ASU with no college head coaching experience and last coached at the college level in 1989, when he spent his third and final season as San Jose State’s defensive end coach.
Arizona State posted a 26–20 record during Edwards’ tenure and 8–5 in 2019 and 2021. Edwards was called in to replace Todd Graham after ASU failed to win more than seven games in any of Graham’s last three seasons with the team. Under Graham, ASU had two 10-win seasons, something the school never came close to achieving with Edwards as head coach.
Edwards’ future became hazy hours after the defeat in Eastern Michigan when school president Michael Crow said the school would evaluate its football program after the defeat. According to BetMGM, ASU was a 20.5-point favorite against EMU.
Prior to joining Arizona State, Edwards worked as an analyst for ESPN since his NFL coaching career ended in 2008. Edwards was the head coach of the New York Jets from 2001 to 2005 and the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006 to 2008. The Jets were 39-41 in Edwards’ five seasons and made the playoffs in three seasons. The Chiefs were 9-7 in Edwards’ first year, but won a total of six games in his last two seasons, reducing Edwards’ NFL coaching record to 54-74.