After a number of programs appeared interested in Sun Devil offensive coordinator Mike Norvell, it is Arizona State that will continue to benefit from the 32-year-old's services.
On Wednesday morning, Todd Graham announced that Arizona State has restructured Norvell's contract and promoted the offensive coordinator to Deputy Head Coach.
In a press release made public on Wednesday, Arizona State President Michael Crow offered his thoughts on the importance of keeping Norvell on Graham's staff.
"I am committed to the long-term success of this program under the leadership of Todd Graham," Crow said. "Rewarding the skills of a master teacher like Mike Norvell is a demonstration of that commitment. Coach Norvell's performance as offensive coordinator has been nationally recognized, and this promotion reflects the remarkable track record he has established in the last two years at ASU."
The move to promote Norvell comes just days after reported interest from Arkansas State for a head coaching position and the University of Florida for the offensive coordinator position. Last offseason, Arizona State gave Norvell a raise to $502,420 amid speculation that Auburn was interested in hiring Norvell as its offensive coordinator.
In 13 games this season, Norvell's offense has put up at least 50 points on six different occasions. Arizona State will have another prime opportunity to hang 50 in the Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech, a Big 12 opponent that has lost five consecutive games.
In the press release, Norvell also explained his commitment to Arizona State and his desire to remain an integral part of the Sun Devil program.
"I work with a world-class head coach and staff, and have the opportunity every day to teach world-class student-athletes at one of the top public universities in the world," Norvell said. "I am proud of what we have accomplished in two years here, but I remain devoted to our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to the valley."
Norvell first began working under Graham six seasons ago as a graduate assistant at the University of Tulsa. Norvell followed Graham to Pittsburgh where he became a Co-Offensive Coordinator for the first time in his career in 2011. Upon arriving at Arizona State, Graham handed the reins of the offense to Norvell and the Sun Devils have never looked back.
Statistically, Arizona State has enjoyed its best back-to-back offensive seasons since the 1972-1973 seasons that featured Danny White and Woody Green that culminated in Fiesta Bowls. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is on the verge of breaking Brock Osweiler's school record for most total yards in a single-season and Marion Grice needs just four yards to record 1,000 yards rushing this season.
Norvell's rise to prominence is not uncharacteristic of offensive coordinators under Todd Graham. Graham employed current Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn for two seasons at Tulsa and also worked with current Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris at Tulsa. Both men have engineered prolific offenses this season, but Norvell's Sun Devils rank higher in scoring offense (41.0 points per game) than either Auburn or Clemson this year.
At the moment, it is unclear what responsibilities Norvell will assume as Deputy Head Coach. He has played a pivotal role in recruiting and has attracted marquee prospects such as 4-star quarterback Manny Wilkins, 4-star athlete Kalen Ballage, and 4-star wide receiver Tyler Whiley to give verbal commitments to Arizona State for the class of 2014.
The financial details of Norvell's contract remain unknown, but all indications point to the 32-year-old becoming one of the highest paid assistant coaches in the country. The new deal will keep Norvell at Arizona State through at least 2014 and likely means Norvell will not leave the Sun Devils unless he is offered a head coaching position at BCS conference school.