ASU Coaching Search: Pitt's Todd Graham Reportedly Leaving For Arizona State

According to several sources the ASU football program will hire Pitt's Todd Graham to be it's next head football coach.

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24 Total Updates since December 1, 2011
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ASU Coaching Search Stalls: Kyle Whittingham To Stay In Utah

The drama that is the search for a new Arizona State University head football coach continues to march on. We trust that someday, somehow, someway the school will end up finding someone to take over the Sun Devils from Dennis Erickson. Meanwhile, the latest name that emerged as a leading candidate for the job, Utah's Kyle Whittingham, appears to be off the market.

Here's the latest from the newspapers in Salt Lake City:

Utah football: Utah, Whittingham have new deal in works | The Salt Lake Tribune
Even as Utah coach Kyle Whittingham continues to be mentioned in the coaching rumor mill as a candidate for openings at Arizona State and Penn State, the Utah Utes are preparing to make him a slightly richer man.

Utah Utes: Kyle Whittingham gets a raise | Deseret News

University officials have confirmed that Whittingham's salary, which includes UnderArmour and other monies, will increase from $1.7 to $2 million per year covering the next five seasons.

Reading those reports carefully, however, it does not say with full certainty that Whittingham is staying, just that he agreed to a raise in pay. Given all that's gone with search, the one thing we've learned is not to count out anything until there's a press release from ASU. So far, no one has been hired so no one else can be rules out. Right?

As for other names to ponder, one that seems to be getting some play in the rumor mill (warning, this only a rumor) is Tennessee defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox. Here's what Sun Devils blog House of Sparky has to say about him:

ASU Coaching Search: And Then There Was One? - House Of Sparky

This seemingly leaves Wilcox as the one candidate whose consideration has not waned or been eliminated entirely. Wilcox has seemingly been at or near the top of ASU's list for the last several days and his position can only be strengthened as the search enters its third week. He has generated a lot of positive traction with his terrific performance leading the defenses at Boise State from 2006-2009 and for the last two years at Tennessee 

It's a good thing this coaching search stuff isn't a distraction to the players as they get ready for a trip to the Vegas Bowl.

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Speak Of The Devils Podcast: ASU Coaching Search And Candidate Update

The Arizona State head coaching search has taken more improbable turns than a Rod Serling screenplay, with what once looked like Kevin Sumlin's job to lose has devolved into outright madness with rumors, contradictory reports and two dances with June Jones.

The Speak of the Devils podcast is here to sort it out and get to the bottom of it all.

First, we talk with Channel 3's Sports Director Tim Ring to help recount the crazy happenings of the last 48-hours, how the Jones deal fell apart and where things currently stand.

We then take an in-depth look at the top remaining candidates, as well as some outliers to keep an eye on, and balance the pros and cons of going with an established coach versus a young up-and-comer.

Finally, we welcome back Hod Rabino of DevilsDigest.com who brings the show some insider info on what has happened, how very close the hiring of June Jones was and what to expect in the very near future.

Click to stream the new episode or listen through iTunes.

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ASU To Hire June Jones, Reports Say

According to multiple sources, the Arizona State Sun Devils have made their decision on a new head football coach, finally settling on former SMU head coach June Jones to be Dennis Erickson's replacement in Tempe:

Per John Gambadoro on Twitter

June Jones will be next ASU coach. Look for press conference.tomorrow or Friday.
Dec 07 via HTC PeepFavoriteRetweetReply

 

Paul Calvisi tweeted on Wednesday that the school had made their decision late last night, eventually decding on Jones as the best fit amongst their other candidates. Jones is 96-69 in his head collegiate coaching carrer, 5-2 in bowl games as well as sporting a 23-28 record while at SMU. 

He isn't the most popular of picks though, as pointed out by SB Nation's Brad Denny:

The similarities run deep. Both are offensive minded coaches who have impressive collegiate resumes who flamed out in the NFL and are now past their prime. One other similarity--they are not for ASU. Jones is not the long term solution that ASU needs right now, and there is a strong probability that the Devils will be looking for another coach in four to five years after another period of mediocrity laced with passing yards.

Here's a bit more on his umpopularity from the Arizona Republic's Doug Haller

The only thing certain at this point: He's not the fans' choice. Dozens have reached out to me over the past couple days. You can count the number of those supporting the hire on one hand. One former player told me that around 20 former ASU players met at a Tempe hotel on Sunday to discuss their concern over the direction of the search.

There could be some unrest on the horizon for those in and around the Sun Devil football program as they try to rebuild under the watch of a new, polarizing head coach...should Jones actually get the job.

For more on the Sun Devils, head over to House of Sparky.

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ASU Football Coaching Search Update: Chaos And Confusion Rule

First Arizona State University was reported to have already offered their head coaching job to Houston's Kevin Sumlin. Then immediately after, that report was negated by conflicting reports. Then ASU was reportedly still going to travel to Houston to meet with Sumlin. Then they weren't as it seemed that he was a lock to take the Texas A&M job. But UCLA still did reportedly go to Texas but came back empty handed. 

Confused yet? Hold on, because we're just getting started.

With Sumlin reportedly off the market, the name that rose to the top of the ASU search was SMU's June Jones. The fan base and boosters didn't seem thrilled and at least according to one reporter, that made a difference as ASU has now reportedly cooled on Jones.

Twitter / @doug620: #ASU fans & boosters deser ...
#ASU fans & boosters deserve a mighty salute. you're lack of interest in June Jones stopped the pursuit. Congrats on making ur voice heard

And guess who might actually be back in the mix?

Twitter / @DevilsDigest: Sources indicating that Fe ...
Sources indicating that Fedora is the leader for A&M's coaching vacancy. This would prompt ASU to pursue Sumlin and Briles.

In other words, no one has a clue right now what ASU is going to do and it's doubtful they do either. Stay tuned and buckle in.

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ASU Ends Pursuit Of Kevin Sumlin According To Multiple Reports

Multiple outlets, including FOX26 Sports, are now reporting that Arizona State has ended it's pursuit of University of Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin, per well-placed sources with knowledge of the search process. Per FOX,  the Arizona State source who requested anonymity said:

"We've dropped from further consideration and moved on."

This goes against an earlier report Friday that ASU would be sending a delegation to Houston comprised of  president Michael Crow, vice president for athletics Lisa Love and chief operating officer Steve Patterson, to meet with Sumlin on Saturday.

The reported trip was spurred on by the recent head coaching vacancy at Texas A&M, another likely landing spot for the hotly pursued Cougars coach, who is leading his team into the Conference USA Championship against Southern Miss this Saturday. 

Local sports reporter, Joe Pequeno of CBS affiliate KPHO TV in Phoenix, is also reporting that according to a source he considers highly reliable, Sumlin will take the open job at Texas A&M.

[Update, 12/02/11 6:19 PM MST ]

Numerous additional reports have confirmed those above. It's suggested that ASU won't be able to compete financially with an offer from Texas A&M. Several new names have been floated for the open job, but they all appear to be speculation at this point.

For more on the possibility of Sumlin being the Sun Devils coach, head to House of Sparky.

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