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Arizona State Football: Who Should the Sun Devils Hire to be the Next Head Coach?

Herm Edwards is out in Tempe, so who should be next?
Pac-12 Extra Points: Herm Edwards, Arizona State Sun Devils

College football's coaching carousel for the 2022 season continued to spin after Week 3. Arizona State and coach Herm Edwards parted ways following the team's loss to Eastern Michigan on Saturday night. Edwards went 26-20 in Tempe but leaves a thin roster and a program in the midst of an NCAA investigation.

Related: Coaching Candidates to Replace Herm Edwards at Arizona State

The future of the Pac-12 is uncertain after the loss of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, but assuming the league holds together, opportunity exists for programs like Arizona State to contend for conference titles on a more annual basis. Although this job isn't the best in the Pac-12, the local talent base is improving, and the right coach should be able to use the transfer portal to quickly restock the roster.

Who should Arizona State hire to replace Edwards? Athlon's editors and contributors debate which coach is the best fit in Tempe:

Arizona State Football: Who Should the Sun Devils Hire to be the Next Head Coach?

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
This will be an interesting search for many reasons and the potential range of candidates for the job feels wide open. The biggest question for this search starts at the top: Who is actually making the hire? Will Ray Anderson hire Edwards' replacement? Or will Arizona State change athletic directors? That decision could have an impact on which coaches get involved or how big of a pool of candidates this job could attract. Although this opening comes with some administrative concerns, along with an ongoing NCAA mess left behind by Edwards, Arizona State is a solid job with upside - especially with USC and UCLA moving to the Big Ten. A retread like Dan Mullen or Tom Herman seems like a quality fit here, but I also think the Sun Devils should look at a rising star like Kent State's Sean Lewis. Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule and Auburn's Bryan Harsin are two other coaches I'd want to interview if I was in charge at Arizona State. Any of those names would be quality coaches for Arizona State, but if you can't land Rhule or Harsin, Herman or Mullen is probably where I would go. 

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
It's tough to get a gauge on where things stand at Arizona State given the current state of affairs and the possibility of penalties following the conclusion of the ongoing NCAA investigation. Hopefully, whoever gets the job will be given enough time to see the fruits of their labor because I think patience is going to be key here. I also feel that previous ties to the state of Arizona can't be overlooked as that will be a critical part of the rebuild. Along those lines, three names that jump out to me are Brent Brennan, Kenny Dillingham and Brian Lindgren. Brennan is the only one in this group with head coaching experience and he's done a good job at San Jose State, which is not an easy place to be successful. Dillingham and Lindgren both have an appealing offensive background and know the Pac-12, but neither has been a head coach and Dillingham is really young (32). It may be too soon for Dillingham to make the big move up the ladder but perhaps Lindgren is ready. I would lean towards Brennan because of the experience factor. Another intriguing name to me is Tom Herman. He has no ties to the state, let alone the Pac-12, but he comes from an offensive background, is only 47, and let's not forget he's 54-22 as a head coach, including 32-18 (4-0 in bowls) when he was at Texas (2017-20).

Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib)
Getting Edwards' firing out of the way early will allow Arizona State to take its time finding his replacement. However, one good fit hasn't yet been fired yet from his current job. If Arizona State fans heard three years ago that they might be able to hire Matt Rhule, they would have been elated. Yes, his star was much brighter coming off turnarounds of Temple and Baylor compared to his 10-25 start with the Carolina Panthers, but he hasn't lost the skills that made him a great college coach. Some coaches just aren't cut out for the NFL. Arizona State has immense potential in a new-look Pac-12, and Rhule may be the coach to unlock it.

Podcast: Week 3 Recap, Arizona State's Coaching Search, Which One-Loss Teams Can Rebound and What Undefeated Teams are Real Contenders?