After nine years under Ray Anderson, Arizona State athletics will officially be under new leadership. Announced on Monday, Anderson stepped down from his position as Vice President for University Athletics, effective immediately.
Such news in the ASU athletic world created a ripple of reactions on social media, evoking strong responses from Sun Devil nation. Regardless to ones own feelings towards Anderson, it cannot be denied the impact he had on the university’s athletic programs.
Head football coach Kenny Dillingham and baseball coach Willie Bloomquist, both hires of Anderson, wished him the best during their media days.
Dillingham: “Thankful for him giving me the opportunity to be the head coach here at my alma mater, my dream job. So very, very thankful for him. He’s been supportive of me since I got here, so best of luck to him and his future. And we’ll look forward to what the future holds here. But best of luck to him in the future and very thankful for the opportunity he gave me to be the head coach here.”
Bloomquist: “I’m obviously very grateful for Ray, and he gave me the opportunity to come back to this place, which I love. Obviously, I love Arizona State and the man gave me my job back here to come back. So I’m forever grateful for him for that opportunity. I see a side of Ray that you guys don’t get to see every day and that is the fact that Ray is a good man. A very good man and has treated me absolutely outstanding since I’ve been here since day one, and has supported me in everything that I’m doing.”
ESPN’s SportsCenter broadcaster and Cronkite graduate Matt Barrie summarized what many Sun Devil football fans may have felt Monday morning.
The importance of Ray’s resignation as ASU’s AD is that the university can fully move on from the administration that oversaw violations & static upward movement that depleted ASU football. Kenny & the program gets a fresh start & hopefully an upgrade in leadership in a new era.— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) November 13, 2023
Chris Karpman of SunDevilSource.com voiced his opinion on the matter following the news, citing a boost in NIL support as an essential building block to a growing football program.
I can’t stress enough how important this Anderson news is. He did the right thing.— Chris Karpman (@ChrisKarpman) November 13, 2023
A lot must happen in a hurry to help ASU’s football roster in particular. People who have been on the fence about supporting, especially in NIL, must jump now if they want a successful program.
In fact, Sun Angel Collective tweeted in support of Sun Devil student athletes, trying to rally ASU fans together and donate to help student athletes in support for Arizona non-profit organizations. The collective is the official Sun Devil athletics organization to help student athletics with NIL management and opportunities in the market to make money while helping the community. For more information about Sun Angel Collective, visit their website.
Can we rally together and bring in 500 new members today? Spread the word, tag your friends, and let's make this happen!https://t.co/Ekh9pvOkG7— Sun Angel Collective (@SunAngelNIL) November 13, 2023
Head coach Kenny Dillingham was all in favor of supporting the NIL collective when he tweeted after the news broke.
Jordan Simone, an Arizona State safety from 2013-15 had been a Sun Devil sideline reporter since 2018, before being fired due to comments about former head coach Herm Edwards in 2021. He voiced his support for a changing of the guard in the Valley.
Fans of Arizona State athletics found revildizied support for the program and voiced their feelings.
He wasn't bad, he was disastrous.— Ralph Amsden (@ralphamsden) November 13, 2023
No need for platitudes and "thank you for your service" pats on the back.
His "service" was a term of employment for which he (and his friends) were paid handsomely.
ASU athletics will continue to pay for his "leadership" for years to come.
Very frankly, today is a great day to be a Sun Devil.— Johnathon Poppe (@JPopASU) November 13, 2023
Quick thoughts on Ray Anderson stepping down as ASU Athletic Director.— Cameron Cox (@CamCox12) November 13, 2023
It’s about time. He created a massive divide among the fan base… pushed many away and his leadership set the program back years. Should’ve been fired years ago — and we all know why.
ASU gets a much needed… pic.twitter.com/05Z95SOhZL
The firing of Ray Anderson needed to happen when ASU got the bowl ban.— Barstool ASU (Hockey School) (@tempebarstool) November 13, 2023
Better late than never, though pic.twitter.com/v3UHBHi7iN
As Anderson’s chapter comes to a close at Arizona State, a blank canvas was laid upon the athletic department in Tempe. Conference realignment, NIL, new coaches, new sports introduced to campus will all come under new direction.
University president Michael Crow had the final words Monday.
“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,” Crow said.