The Arizona State Sun Devils are in the market for a new head football coach. They are one of three teams in the Pac-12 hunting for the next great guy and will also be competing with other schools like Penn St., Ole Miss, Kansas, Illinois and others. The competition for the top talent will be fierce and money will certainly be a factor.
ASU's Vice President for University Athletics, Lisa Love, spoke with the media Monday and has been making the rounds on various local radio shows talking about the search she will now lead. While the early rumors say that ASU favors a younger candidate with head coaching experience, Love hasn't ruled out a coordinator looking for the big break.
"Head-coaching experience is very important, but that doesn't rule out possible diamonds that are in the wings ready to launch," Love told the Arizona Republic. "There are many out there that you have seen make a move from a coordinator position into a head-coaching position at various BCS (conference) institutions and did it beautifully."
At this point it seems too early to say if that's just an executive leaving her options open if if she would seriously consider a candidate with no experience in the big chair for such a prominent job.
Money, of course, is also a factor. Hot candidate Kevin Sumlin from Houston will surely be getting calls from several schools and while ASU is a great destination, they will have to be competitive with their offer to land him.
The University of Arizona gave Rich Rodriquez got a five-year contract worth $9.55 million. Will Lisa Love be able to spend in that ballpark?
Here's what she said as reported by Arizona Sports.com's Adam Green:
"There's a balance there between being market savvy and being highly aggressive with who you are going to hire, but also being responsible so you're not going to an absurd level of expenditure, and I think we're all very, very mindful of the challenging state of our economy."
That's not a very definitive answer from Love but it's important to remember that she and ASU are subject to certain realities as a public university.
If the alumni want a top-notch football program they are going to have to step up and pay for it like they have at USC and Oregon. If fans want a better team, they have to show up for more than just the big games or when the team is winning.
Love says there is no timeline for the search.