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Houston Cougars head coach Kevin Sumlin is going to be doing his best to sell high. At 12-0 (and likely to be 13-0 after the Conference USA championship), his stock will never be higher, and with Case Keenum on his way out the door, it makes no sense for him to stick around.
So of course the Arizona St. Sun Devils should be moving quick to strike for a new head coach. Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports reports that ASU is doing exactly that.
Who else could Arizona State hire? Doug Haller reports on some potential candidates, including Sumlin, but also Larry Fedora at Southern Miss, at Tennessee, Mark Helfrich at Oregon, and Ron English at Eastern Michigan.
There are lots of good guys out there for ASU, lots of young and talented individuals who will be in the running for the job. The Sun Devils need to choose wisely if they hope to prevent stagnation within their program.
To discuss who ASU should hire as their next head football coach, head to House of Sparky.
Dennis Erickson, after being officially released as the head coach of the Arizona State University football team, issued the following statement:
"I would like to thank the administration of Arizona State University for giving me the opportunity to coach and direct the football program for five years. President Crow and Lisa Love were tremendous to work with.
"I also want to thank the players and my coaching staff. I am proud of what we accomplished in five years. The program is in good shape for the next coach.
"Lastly, I would like thank the fans and especially the students for their support. The school record 12,500 students at the Arizona game was quite a boost to the team.
"ASU is a great university and a great place to go to school. I will always cherish my memories here."
Between Erickonson's kind words and those of his boss Lisa Love and the fact that he's being allowed to stay on and coach the team in a bowl game it seems like all sides are shooting for a friendly breakup.
Arizona State Vice President for University Athletics Lisa Love announced that Dennis Erickson will not return for a sixth season as head football coach at Arizona State. Erickson will be allowed to coach the Sun Devils in their bowl game.
"We are grateful for the service Dennis and his staff provided for the past five years," said Love in ASU's official press release. "Even during the most difficult times, he represented ASU with dignity. As he pursued success at the highest level within the Pac-12 conference, he improved the overall competitive health of the Sun Devils by attracting tremendous players to the university. With the confidence earned by his remarkable career, he never doubted the capability of ASU to compete for the Rose Bowl."
Erickson could not replicate the success of his first season in Tempe in 2007 when he led the Sun Devils to a Pac-10 title, a 10-win season and a trip to the Holiday Bowl.
Erickson will receive around half of his $1.5 million salary for the remainder of his contract which is through Jan. 15, 2013. Erickson recorded a 31-30 record in his five seasons with the Sun Devils.
His record at Arizona State does not compare to his earlier successes, especially with the Miami Hurricanes where he won two National Championships in 1989 and 1991 and compiled a substantial portion of his 176-96-1 collegiate coaching record.
Dennis Erickson's tenure at Arizona State, age five, passed away this week.
Erickson rose to prominence during his tenure as head coach of the Miami Hurricanes from 1989 to 1994, a highly successful run that included two national titles. He used that as a springboard to the NFL, coaching the Seattle Seahawks before bouncing around to Oregon State, the San Francisco 49ers and most recently for a season at Idaho before coming to Tempe.
He took over for Dirk Koetter, who had managed to keep ASU in low-level bowl games but never could lift the team into the conference's upper-tier. It was hoped that an accomplished coach like Erickson could get the Sun Devils over the hump.
The early indications were sensational.
Erickson guided ASU to an astounding 8-0 start, including a tremendous win in late October over then No. 21 California. After that victory, the Sun Devils rose to No. 4 in the BCS standing and received a pair of No. 1 votes in the AP poll. They lost their first game of the season to fifth ranked Oregon the next week, and alternated wins and losses the rest of the way, ending with a Holiday Bowl loss to Texas. Despite that, ASU finished 13th in the Coaches Poll and earned a share of the Pac-10 title, which made Erickson the winner of the Pac-10 Coach of the Year award.
With several key members returning, hopes were sky-high in 2008. After an easy 2-0 start, the team hosted lowly UNLV with a marquee showdown with Georgia coming up the next week. However, UNLV blocked a Thomas Weber field goal in overtime, handing ASU a crushing loss that sent the team into a traumatic six-game skid that ruined their season. While the defense remained strong, the offense tanked, dropping nearly 50 spots to rank 100th in the nation.
The same story continued in 2009.
Always a strong recruiter, Erickson brought in the school's highest ranked recruit ever, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and his addition to an already strong defense resulted in one of the nation's elite units, as the Devils ranked 13th overall. However, the offense was pitiful under new quarterback Danny Sullivan. The Devils ran a very simplistic and predictable scheme and simply couldn't score enough points. They ended 2009 on another six-game losing streak, one that saw the team held to just 21 points or less in every game. This prompted Erickson to make his finest move, firing offensive coordinator Rich Olson and installing Noel Mazzone.
Not surprisingly, 2010 brought with it rock bottom expectations, as the Sun Devils were picked to finish ninth in the preseason media poll. They dispatched their two FCS opponents to open the year, but with highly ranked Wisconsin and Oregon next, the outlook was bleak. However, the Devils played exceedingly well in each game and arguably should have won both, had it not been for a harrowing hallmark of Erickson coached team--self-inflicted wounds. Nevertheless, ASU was beginning to show it could hang with the big boys, as they battled USC and Stanford to the bitter end in close defeats. They ended the year with a big wins over UCLA and Arizona, and for the first time since early 2008, optimism reigned.
When he took the ASU job, Erickson said that he was building towards a five-year plan. With the new division structure of the Pac-12, an abundance of returning talent and the momentum from 2010 still fresh, the pieces were in place for ASU to win the South division and appear in the inaugural conference title game, and justly those were the expectations.
A win over No. 21 Missouri in Week 2 stoked the fires and two weeks later the Erickson era hit its high point with a huge win over USC. The win ended an 11-game losing streak to the Trojans and seemed to serve as a legitimizing accomplishment for both the program and Erickson. Even a loss to Oregon before the bye week did little to dampen the enthusiasm surrounding the team, and after a win over Colorado, the Devils stood at 6-2 and were in complete control of their destiny.
Then the season, and his career in Tempe, fell apart.
Erickson was always known as a player's coach, and the lack of discipline was evident in his team's penalty totals. But it also manifested itself in a sense of entitlement and a lack of hunger in the players. ASU had a slate in front of them that featured UCLA, Washington State, Arizona and Cal, all teams that the Sun Devils should have easily defeated. Instead, the once effective defense disappeared, replaced by a lackadaisical unit that refused to make adjustments to their opponent's game plans. As a result, the Devils lost each game and finished their second straight season at a pedestrian 6-6.
However, Erickson did do some good. His skills as a top recruiter were evident. The talent present on ASU's roster is now markedly better than anytime in the recent past and a loaded class in 2012 speaks to the possible success the program could soon have.
Ultimately, that talent could not overcome the glaring weaknesses in player and game management. The Sun Devils continuously were their own worst enemy with ridiculous penalties, turnovers and other avoidable mistakes. By the end, the players seemed to have lost the fire, which in the case of this season's game against Arizona, was simply inexcusable. Undoubtedly and deservedly so, these five years will be remembered as a failure at ASU, where talented teams fell well short of their goals.
Arizona State is now back exactly where they were five years ago--a program loaded with equal parts disappointment and potential, looking for the right man to lead them.
The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller has confirmed that Arizona State head football coach Dennis Erickson will be let go by the university most likely this week, and could come as soon as Monday.
Erickson, 64, will still be under contract with the school until Jan. 15, 2013, though it is still uncertain when if he has coached his last game with the Sun Devils. Once he is let go, Erickson will get around half of his $1.5 million salary for the remainder of his contract. One of the biggest questions surrounding this situation is whether or not Erickson will be around to coach the Sun Devils in a bowl game, though Haller believes he will be.
With an overall 21-25 record in his five seasons with Arizona State, Erickson 179-96-1 in his collegiate coaching career, including two National Championships with the Miami Hurricanes in 1989 and 1991 respectfully.
CBS Sports' Craig Morgan reports that Erickson wouldn't coach a bowl game:
Sources: Arizona State to fire Erickson
Multiple sources have confirmed that Arizona State football coach Dennis Erickson will be fired this week, with a press conference coming as soon as Monday. Sources said Erickson would not coach in any bowl game in which ASU would take part.
For more discussion and analysis of the Arizona State Sun Devils, head over to House of Sparky to get in on the action.
The Arizona State Sun Devils suffered another bad loss on Friday night, their third in three weeks. The loss to the California Golden Bears may ultimately end up proving to be the last game for head coach Dennis Erickson, according to Doug Haller of the Arizona Republic.
Sources: Dismissal could come soon for ASU football coach Dennis Erickson
Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love did not return messages left by The Republic on Saturday, but multiple sources confirmed that the end is near for coach Dennis Erickson, and his dismissal could come soon.
With the loss, the Sun Devils fell to 6-6, with a record of 4-5 in Pac-12 play. Although they are bowl eligible for the first time since 2007 and Erickson boasts a winning record as head coach (31-30 during his tenure), the 2011 season was in many ways an embarrassment for ASU. They lost games to beatable teams, often watching leads dwindle away before ending up in the loss column.
A similar story has popped up regarding UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel, although the Bruins athletic director has gone on record that Neuheisel will be around to coach Friday's Pac-12 championship game. That makes a lot of sense, given that if UCLA manages to pull off a huge upset against the Oregon Ducks, they'd earn a spot in the Rose Bowl, regardless of their 6-7 losing record. It remains to be seen, however, whether ASU will want to keep Erickson around to coach the Sun Devils in a postseason bowl game. Erickson's contract is set to expire in 2013.
For all news and information related to the Sun Devils, please visit House of Sparky.