ASU Athletics: Can Steve Patterson Transition Into New Role As Well As Todd Graham Has?

With Lisa Love now gone, can replacement Steve Patterson make the same smooth transition into Athletic Director that Todd Graham has made into head football coach?

On Wednesday, Lisa Love was fired as ASU's Athletic Director. She began her tenure in 2005 and spent seven years as Sun Devil AD, a position that will now be taken over by Steve Patterson.

Love's firing comes in the same year that football coach Dennis Erickson was relieved of his duties. Erickson, the man who led the ASU football program for five seasons from 2007 to 2011, has since been replaced by Todd Graham.

With staples Love and Erickson now gone and newcomers Patterson and Erickson swooping in, ASU Athletics faces a period of transition. Or does it? The positive early returns of Graham and the enigma of Patterson seem to throw the term "transition" into question.

Graham has done a fine job at taking command of ASU football since the departure of Erickson. He has players working hard and has fans feeling excited about the upcoming season. Given all of this, it's easy to forget that Graham has been Sun Devil head coach for less than four months. At least on the football front, ASU seems to have already transitioned to a new leader.

Patterson, meanwhile, is unpredictable at this point. It's impossible to tell what changes he will make in the coming months and how much he will choose to keep from Love's time as AD. He is a business-first guy who doesn't have experience on the purely athletic front yet, and he could easily ruffle some feathers while adapting to his new role.

Odds are that Patterson won't be able to transition quite as smoothly into his new role as Graham has been able to. It's possible though, and if he does, this year of firings (and hirings) could turn into less of a transitional period than we might have originally suspected.

Does ASU face a serious time of transition now? Or will Patterson slip into his new role as well as Graham has been able to? Vote and comment below.

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