Ray Anderson announces he's stepping down as Arizona State athletic director
Ray Anderson resigned from his post as Arizona State athletic director on Monday, effective immediately.
The school announced the news in a release Monday morning, adding that Anderson, 69, will remain as a professor of practice and senior advisor in the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Anderson served as the program’s athletic director since 2014.
“It has been a privilege to serve as ASU’s athletic director for nearly a decade,” Anderson said in a statement. “We have entered an unprecedented era where the number and magnitude of changes in the college sports landscape are astounding. As I approach my seventh decade of life, these are not matters that my leadership would be able to corral during my tenure. Continuity of leadership will be needed, and I am choosing to step aside to let the university find that leader.”
Jim Rund will serve as the interim athletic director while ASU conducts its search for the next full-time AD.
Rund also served as an interim AD in 2013 after Steve Patterson left for Texas.
“By prioritizing student success, raising unprecedented levels of resources, and evolving the Sun Devil brand, Ray Anderson has been one of the most impactful and longest-serving athletic directors in the history of Arizona State,” university president Michael Crow said. “We respect his decision, and we appreciate his service to the university.”
Anderson made several key moves as the ASU athletic director, including recently reaching one of the largest naming rights deals in college sports history for Sun Devil Stadium to become Mountain America Stadium. He also played a role in the school’s decision to move from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 beginning next year.
But Anderson’s tenure will ultimately be headlined by the hiring and firing of longtime friend Herm Edwards.
Edwards was hired as the ASU football coach in 2018. He went 26-20 across his four-plus seasons and was fired after three games last year. Anderson hired Kenny Dillingham from Oregon last offseason to rebuild the program, but then handed Dillingham’s team a self-imposed bowl ban right before the start of the season.
ASU still has an open investigation against it by the NCAA for alleged recruiting violations under Edwards’ watch. That investigation is expected to result in subsequent sanctions for the Sun Devils.
Five coaches on the ASU staff were fired or resigned, but Edwards remained as head coach. He was dismissed after a 30-21 home loss to Eastern Michigan in 2022. ASU closed the year 3-9, its worst season since the 40s.