We need to talk about the job opening at Arizona State.
I know how much it must have hurt ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson’s pride to have to part ways with his friend and former client Herm Edwards. I know it stings to be this close to being able to give one of the biggest “I told you so’s” in the history of sports to everyone that doubted Herm Edwards could succeed at the college level, only to be derailed by the infighting of the staff underneath him.
I’m a man. I have pride like anyone else, and I’ve gone all in on something only to walk away humbled and with a wounded ego. If Ray Anderson can get past the bitterness and temptation to place blame on anyone but himself for the failed tenure of Herm Edwards, he has an opportunity to bring in the savior that this program needs.
Let’s remember exactly who Ray Anderson is- a lawyer and agent that helped break the glass ceiling on NFL teams hiring minority candidates, and who used his influence as an NFL executive to help bust up the good ‘ol boy network that kept minority coaches from even getting interviews.
I refuse to believe that Ray Anderson did all that work to just turn around and build his own good ‘ol boy network at Arizona State, and then fall into the same trap NFL GMs and athletic directors always do when it comes to taking responsibility for getting it wrong.
The Ray Anderson that changed football forever for men that look like me is still in there, and he has an opportunity to get back to shaking things up and moving the game of football forward.
And he can do that by hiring University of Texas wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator Brennan Marion.
Ray Anderson said Arizona State needs someone young and energetic. Brennan Marion is 35, and one of the top recruiters in the country. Ray Anderson said Arizona State needs someone that understands the current landscape of player branding and NIL- Brennan Marion has built his own brand as a pull-yourself-up-by-your bootstraps little known recruit, to NCAA yards per catch record holder, to FCS and FBS offensive coordinator, and now a Power 5 position coach at both Pitt and Texas.
ASU is all about innovation, right? Well how about someone that literally wrote a book on an offense that fuses principles of the triple-option and the spread?
A lot of people laughed at Ray Anderson’s goals for Herm Edwards- top 3 in the conference, top 3 in the country, and a signing day full of four-stars out of California.
I don’t think these goals are out of the question. Maybe not every year- only a handful of schools can pull that off, and Ray Anderson has already publicly stated that he’s not willing to do what it takes to play with the big boys when it comes to NIL
But ASU is more than capable of having a run like that every couple of years. Why not?
And why not bring somebody in like Brennan Marion, who has recruiting and staffing contacts all over the country, has worked at Arizona State before, and won’t have to play two years of catch up just to figure out the rules to the game?
Hiring in America has often been about who you know, and not what you know. And when the people in positions to make hires don’t know certain segments of the population, they tend to get left out of the decision making process. Ray Anderson should know this, both as someone that worked to stop it from happening, and someone who participated in it the last time around.
If the old Ray Anderson is still in there, the one that wants to shake up the establishment, and the one that still has an unused “I told you so” in the chamber, it might be time for him to get to know Brennan Marion.
Let that sink in.