The Arizona St. Sun Devils Best Coaches of All Time

by Jesse M. Earl on October 04, 2023

The Arizona St. Sun Devils Best Coaches of All Time

The Arizona St. Sun Devils have a storied history filled with moments of triumph and heartbreak on the football field. The Sun Devils, representing Arizona State University, have had their fair share of ups and downs. However, one constant has remained through it all: the influence of remarkable coaches who have guided and inspired the team to greatness. In this article, we'll take a journey through time to revisit the best coaches of all time for the Arizona St. Sun Devils and celebrate their contributions to the program.

Frank Kush: The Pioneer of Sun Devil Football

Frank Kush, the name synonymous with Arizona St. Sun Devils football, was the man who laid the foundation for the team's success. Kush's era began in 1958 and extended until 1979, making him the longest-tenured head coach in Sun Devils' history. During his reign, the Sun Devils achieved remarkable milestones:

  • Kush led the Sun Devils to their first-ever bowl game victory in the 1957 Sun Bowl against the University of New Mexico, setting the stage for future successes.

  • Under Kush's guidance, the Sun Devils secured two conference titles, in 1975 and 1977, and made several appearances in the Fiesta Bowl.

  • His authoritarian coaching style and unyielding discipline molded players who had successful careers in the NFL, including the legendary quarterback, Joe Spagnola.

  • The "Desert Swarm" defense, a term coined during Kush's tenure, became a formidable force that struck fear into opponents' hearts.

  • Kush's commitment to excellence and unwavering dedication left an indelible mark on the Sun Devils' program and set a high standard for future coaches to follow.

Darryl Rogers: The Offensive Mastermind

Darryl Rogers took the helm of the Sun Devils football program in 1980, following in the footsteps of the legendary Frank Kush. While he didn't have the same longevity as Kush, Rogers brought a new dimension to Arizona St. football:

  • Rogers was known for his innovative offensive strategies, earning him a reputation as an offensive mastermind.

  • He nurtured the talents of future NFL stars, including quarterback Jeff Van Raaphorst and wide receiver Aaron Cox.

  • In 1982, Rogers guided the Sun Devils to their first-ever Pac-10 championship, a historic moment in the program's history.

  • Rogers' free-spirited coaching style resonated with players and fans alike, making him a beloved figure in Sun Devils lore.

Bruce Snyder: A Return to Prominence

The Arizona St. Sun Devils entered the 1990s with a desire to return to the glory days of Frank Kush and Darryl Rogers. Bruce Snyder was the man chosen to lead the resurgence:

  • Snyder's tenure from 1992 to 2000 radically transformed the Sun Devils' fortunes.

  • In 1996, Snyder orchestrated one of the greatest seasons in Sun Devils history, culminating in a Rose Bowl appearance and a thrilling victory over the University of Michigan.

  • His teams consistently ranked among the nation's best in scoring and total offense, showcasing a dynamic style of play that thrilled fans.

  • Snyder's ability to recruit and develop talent paved the way for future success at Arizona State.

Herm Edwards: A Modern Era Revival

As the new millennium dawned, the Sun Devils turned to NFL veteran Herm Edwards to reinvigorate their program. Edwards, known for his fiery personality and inspirational speeches, brought a new energy to Arizona St. football:

  • Edwards' "New Leadership Model" emphasized character, discipline, and accountability both on and off the field.

  • Under his guidance, the Sun Devils became a competitive force in the Pac-12, consistently challenging for conference titles.

  • His emphasis on developing student-athletes as well-rounded individuals garnered respect from players, parents, and alumni.

  • Edwards' leadership has bridged the gap between the Sun Devils' storied past and their promising future, creating a sense of excitement and optimism among fans.

The history of the Arizona St. Sun Devils is a tapestry woven with remarkable coaches' dedication, passion, and innovation. From Frank Kush, the pioneer, to Darryl Rogers, the offensive genius, and Bruce Snyder, the architect of resurgence, and finally, Herm Edwards, the modern-era leader, each coach has left an enduring legacy.

These coaches have shaped the Sun Devils' football program and played a pivotal role in the lives of countless student-athletes who have passed through Arizona State University. Their impact transcends the gridiron, inspiring generations of Sun Devils to excel in all aspects of life.

As the Arizona St. Sun Devils continue their journey through the world of college football, they do so with the knowledge that their rich history is anchored by the indomitable spirit of legendary coaches who have left an indelible mark on the program. Thanks to these coaching legends, the "Arizona St. Sun Devils or Title" will forever be synonymous with greatness.


Who is the most iconic coach in Arizona St. Sun Devils history?

Frank Kush holds the distinction of being the most iconic coach in the Sun Devils' history. His long and successful tenure set the standard for excellence in the program.

Which coach led the Sun Devils to their first-ever Pac-10 championship?

Darryl Rogers guided the Sun Devils to their first-ever Pac-10 championship in 1982, marking a historic moment for the program.

Who coined the term "Desert Swarm"?

The term "Desert Swarm" was coined during Frank Kush's tenure as head coach, highlighting the ferociousness of the Sun Devils' defense.

Jesse M. Earl

Jesse M. Earl is an experienced sports blogger with 6 years of expertise in the field. Jesse has developed a reputation throughout his career for his insightful analysis and engaging commentary on various sports topics. He has covered many sports, including football, basketball, baseball, and soccer, and is particularly interested in the intersection of sports and culture. Through his writing, Jesse provides a fresh and unique perspective on the latest sports news, offering readers a deeper understanding of the impact of sports on society. With his extensive knowledge and passion for sports, Jesse is a trusted voice in the world of sports journalism, and he continues to inspire and inform his readers with his thoughtful and thought-provoking content.

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