Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson resigns: What’s next for Sun Devils?


Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson is resigning, effective immediately, the school announced on Monday. Here’s what you need to know:
Anderson had led the Sun Devils athletic department since January 2014, following several years as an NFL executive.
Anderson conducted the coaching search that led to the head-scratching hire of Herm Edwards, his former client during his years as an agent, after the 2017 football season. Edwards was fired in 2022 after a home loss to Eastern Michigan and amid an investigation into alleged violations of NCAA recruiting rules.
The Sun Devils are 3-7 in their first year under new football coach Kenny Dillingham, after Anderson and school president Michael Crow self-imposed a bowl ban for 2023 ahead of the results of the NCAA’s investigation.
Anderson’s legacy at ASU
Anderson’s influence at Arizona State was substantial. He helped the school expand to 26 sports. He oversaw facilities upgrades, which included a facelift to an aging football stadium and the construction of a multipurpose arena that houses the men’s hockey and volleyball programs. At one point, Anderson was considered a candidate for Pac-12 commissioner.
However, his hiring of close friend Herm Edwards as football coach, as well as the resulting NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations that followed, overshadowed all the good that Anderson had done. Since dismissing Edwards in 2022, the football program has been stuck in a massive rebuild. Most of the fan base blamed Anderson, putting Arizona State in a difficult position. The man in charge was often seen as the athletic department’s biggest problem, which made improvement difficult. His resignation was always the likely outcome, it was just a matter of when. — Doug Haller
What’s next for Arizona State?
Arizona State is viewed nationally as an underachiever. That’s not unfair. The university’s anchor programs all have struggled recently. The Sun Devils are behind rivals in the name, image and likeness race, which directly impacts their athletic performance. They need an athletic director who embraces the changing landscape and can convince donors and local businesses what’s needed to compete at the highest level. They need an athletic director who recognizes that Desert Financial Arena is decades past its prime and that the men’s basketball program cannot compete at a high level until it is renovated or replaced. The potential is there, but the administrative support has not always been in line. That has to change. — Haller
Required reading
• How a self-imposed bowl ban hit an Arizona State team trying to shed its recent past
• Herm Edwards’ rise and fall at Arizona State: Inside the Sun Devils’ failed experiment
(Photo: Jevone Moore / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


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