Arizona State fires Herm Edwards following loss to MAC school

Joe Rondone/The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK
1 Comment

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson made a calculated gamble in hiring a football coach five years ago, one that earned the school a national mocking.

He hoped Herm Edwards, despite no head college coaching experience and nine years in a television studio, would give the program the jolt it needed, usher it into a new era through an NFL-like leadership model.

Edwards managed to quiet many of the critics with some early wins on the field and recruiting trail.

When ugly losses piled up and an NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations lingered, Anderson decided to make a change.

Arizona State and Edwards mutually agreed to part ways a day after the Sun Devils lost 30-21 to Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference as heavy home favorites.

“I don’t regret at all because I believed it was the right thing to do then,” Anderson said. “But I also believe that when you come to a point where you realize that you’re not always right, and perhaps it’s not working at the level you want and you don’t have the patience to wait because the world is changing really fast out there, then you make changes. That’s what we’ve done.”

Edwards managed to hold onto his job after an up-and-down 2021, but another shaky loss led to his firing three games into his fifth season. Arizona State is still awaiting word on possible NCAA sanctions for allegedly hosting recruits on campus during an NCAA-mandated COVID-19 dead period in 2020.

Edwards went 46-26 at Arizona State, including 1-2 this season and 17-14 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils never won more than eight games in a season under Edwards and fell short of Anderson’s goal of playing in major bowl games.

Running backs coach Shaun Aguano will serve as interim coach.

The Sun Devils begin Pac-12 play next with three ranked teams: No. 13 Utah at home Saturday, followed by No. 7 Southern California and No. 18 Washington.

“Our future begins now and our responsibility is to try to infuse new energy, new urgency into the program,” Anderson said.

Edwards, a former NFL head coach, was considered an unconventional hire when he was tapped by University President Michael Crow and Anderson to lead the middling program. A former NFL agent, Anderson represented Edwards during his playing days with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Edwards spent the nine previous years as an NFL TV analyst and had not been a college coach since serving as San Jose State’s defensive backs coach from 1987-89.

The loquacious coach changed the narrative his first few seasons in Tempe, proving to be an adept recruiter while leading the Sun Devils to two straight bowl appearances.

The goodwill didn’t last.

Arizona State was hit hard by COVID-19 during the delayed 2020 season, finishing 2-2. The Sun Devils opened the 2021 season 5-1 before suffering consecutive ugly losses, giving up 56 straight points to Utah and Washington State.

Edwards was thought to be on the hot seat at the end of the season, but Anderson said he would remain as coach following a lopsided win over rival Arizona.

Arizona State had an exodus of players and coaches during the offseason, losing five assistant coaches, 11 players drafted or signed by NFL teams and numerous key players to the transfer portal.

Edwards rebuilt the Sun Devils mainly through the transfer portal, adding 43 new players to the roster.

The Sun Devils opened the season with an expectedly-easy win over FCS opponent Northern Arizona and played OK at No. 8 Oklahoma State before fading late in 34-17 loss.

Arizona State hoped it righted itself against Eastern Michigan, only to fall flat against a 20 1/2-point underdog at home. The Sun Devils could not stop the Eagles defensively, were plagued by key penalties and became the first Pac-12 school to lose to a MAC school.

“We had a lot of faith and confidence that with the right coaching staff and with some of the folks that we were anticipating bringing in, we would have an opportunity to really bounce back,” Anderson said. “We were looking to do that with the leadership we had and thought we had an opportunity to do that – and it did not materialize.”

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

south carolina basketball
Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.