Ahead of the Sun Devils’ matchup with the Trojans in Los Angeles, USC head coach Lincoln Riley was very complimentary of Arizona State interim coach Shaun Aguano when he met with reporters on Thursday.

Riley said when Aguano was the head high school coach at Chandler, everyone had good things to say.

“I’m not surprised to see him climbing the ranks,” Riley said.

In eight seasons as head coach at Chandler High School, Aguano led the Wolves to an 88-19 record and four state championships. In 2018, Aguano won his third consecutive state championship and the program’s fourth in five years as the Wolves rolled to a record-setting 65-28 win over Perry High School in the 2018 6A title game. Chandler earned the school’s first-ever state championship when it defeated rival Hamilton in the 2014 Division I AIA State Championship, giving Aguano the first of four titles.

Former Sun Devil standout wide receiver and 2019 NFL first-round draft choice N’Keal Harry and current Sun Devil defensive back Chase Lucas played for Aguano during his first state championship run.

Riley notably recruited 5-star quarterback Spencer Rattler out of Arizona in the 2019 class. Given the talent in the area, any Power Five coach worth his salt makes his way into Arizona during the recruiting calendar. And given Aguano’s success, it’s no surprise he was a popular name in the region.

Since taking over the ASU program, Aguano has also been pretty upfront about a desire to boost the Sun Devils’ recruiting at home. The 2023 class features just six commitments at this point, none from the state of Arizona. Three of the state’s top 10 recruits are verbally committed to Oregon. USC is the favorite to land the state’s top overall recruit.

We’ll see if Aguano’s cache in the region can help the Sun Devils.