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President's Day Special: Naming ASU Football's All-Time President, VP & Cabinet

We return to a popular post to celebrate this most presidential of holidays.

(Photo: ASU)

NOTE: Story originally run last year, we decided to make this a tradition, because it's fun.

The third Monday of February serves as an annual commemoration of the office of the President of the United States. First declared in 1800 to honor George Washington's birthday, the holiday has since grown to include every American president through Barack Obama.

Many of us are enjoying a day off from work while we look back at the collected accomplishments of the 43 men to hold the nation's highest office, as well as the entire Executive Branch of government, including the Vice President and the Cabinet.

In keeping with the holiday's theme, House of Sparky has named the key positions of the Executive Branch, not of this great country of our's, but another nation—Sun Devil Nation.

President - Frank Kush

If this were an actual election, Coach Kush would win in a landslide. It's no stretch to say that Coach Kush is Sun Devil football.

Over 22 remarkable seasons, Coach Kush compiled led the Sun Devils to 19 winning seasons while compiling a 176-54-1 record, including undefeated seasons in 1970 and 1975. He led the program to nine conference titles and a 6-1 record in bowl games. The 1975 team finished No. 2 in the nation, the highest in program history.

It wouldn't be the office of President without a little controversy. In 1979, punter Kevin Rutledge filed suit against ASU on charges of harassment. The ensuing issues led to Coach Kush's dismissal in October of that year.

Yet years later, that drama has done nothing to diminish his legacy. A 1995 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, the field at the site of his great glories, Sun Devil Stadium, was named in his honor.

Hail to the Chief.

Vice President - Pat Tillman

One of the most revered figures in ASU history, Tillman was not only a fantastic player, but also a great man of honor and integrity that set an example for everyone to follow.

As an undersized linebacker with an oversized will, Tillman was a key figure of the terrific Sun Devil defense that helped ASU reach the Rose Bowl during the 1996 season. As a senior in 1997, Tillman was dominant, winning the Pac-10's Defensive Player of the Year award.

Tillman went on to play for the Arizona Cardinals for four seasons. In line for a multi-million dollar contract, he passed that up in the wake of 9/11 to join the U.S. Army Rangers, where he lost his life in action in 2004.

His legacy lives on with the Pat Tillman Foundation, helping to enrich the lives of service men and women and their families.

Secretary of State - Mike Haynes

When looking for a person to fill the role as the face of Arizona State football in an ambassadorial role, Mike Haynes immediately springs to mind.

A three-time All-WAC selection and two-time All-American, Haynes was one of the most decorated players in school history. His No. 40 was retired both by ASU and the New England Patriots, and he is a member of both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

After football, Haynes has been an advocate for cancer awareness and research, as well as becoming a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Secretary of the Treasury - Verde Dickey

Verde Dickey has been the name and backing behind several key and impressive improvements for Sun Devil athletics.

An alum of SMU, Dickey has been the quiet but generous financial benefactor behind the football team's impressive new practice facility, gifts to the ASU marching band, as well as improvements to the locker rooms in numerous ASU facilities such as Sun Devil Stadium and Wells Fargo Arena.

Secretary of Defense - Terrell Suggs

Given the depth of defensive excellence in ASU history, this selection was difficult, but ultimately is was Terrell Suggs' amazing ability not just to defend, but attack offenses with ferocious abandon, which earned him this post.

Having already posted 20 sacks over his first two seasons to become one of the Pac-10's best defensive players, Suggs exploded in 2002. He set the NCAA single-season sack record with 24, had 31.5 tackles for loss, forced six fumbles and took home a mantle's worth of awards, including the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, Nagurski Award, Hendricks Award and Lombardi Award, in addition to every conceivable All-American team.

Secretary of the Interior - Fred Miller

During his tenure as the school's athletic director, Miller oversaw an amazing growth in the Sun Devil athletic programs.

Miller spearheaded the expansion of Sun Devil Stadium to 73,000 seats, as well as the construction of Packard Stadium, Sun Angel Stadium, Karsten Golf Course and numerous other developments at no expense to the tax payers. In addition, he added 10 varsity sports for women, as at the time of his arrival, ASU fielding only teams for men.

Secretary of Education - Mike Nixon

Mike Nixon took the notion of student-athlete to heart and to great heights.

On the field, Nixon was a solid and versatile linebacker from 2006-2009. He compensated for less-than-stellar physical gifts with an extraordinary work ethic and football IQ, leading to him becoming a starter over his final two years, when he totaled 163 tackles and eight interceptions.

He excelled in the classroom as well. Nixon's acedemics earned him three selections to the First Team Academic All-Pac-10 squad, as well as a spot on the First-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII.

Secretary of Veteran's Affairs - Jeremy Staat

As a close friend of Pat Tillman, Staat's career and life shared many key similarities. Both were standout members of ASU's defense in the mid-1990s, both played four seasons in the NFL and both gave up those lucrative careers to serve this nation in the armed forces.

Staat became a Marine a 2006 and served a tour of duty in Iraq. Following his time in the USMC, he has established a foundation to raise awareness and money for veteran's affairs.

Secretary of Homeland Security - Randall McDaniel

In protecting the school's most valuable football resources, no one was better than Randall McDaniel.

McDaniel anchored the offensive line of three bowl teams from 1984-1987, including the school's first Rose Bowl appearance. Making 39 straight starts during his career, he was a two-time All-American selection, and is now currently enshrined in both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

Secretary of Energy - Rudy Burgess

If the nation's energy woes ever become a true crisis, they should look to Burgess, who seemingly was never off of the field.

During his time at Arizona State, the dynamic Burgess was a multi-positional threat that played just about any position the team needed. He saw time at running back and wide receiver on offense, played cornerback on defense, and was an explosive kickoff and punt returner. He even threw a 43-yard touchdown pass in 2005.

He is one of only 14 players in Division I history to exceed 1,000 career yards in rushing, receiving and on returns.

Secretary of Transportation - Woody Green

No player in ASU history was better from getting to Point A to Point B (or rather, Point TD) than Woody Green.

From 1971-1973, ASU rode the legs of Green to success. He topped 1,300 yards in each season, including a school-record 1,565 in 1972, and each of those seasons stands in the school's top six single-season performances.

Now 39 years after his final carry, Green is still Arizona State's all-time leader in rushing attempts (675), yards (4,188) and rushing touchdowns (43).

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