Following the resignation of athletic director Ray Anderson, Arizona State has a clean slate to work with in choosing the universities next athletic director. What many Sun Devil fans deemed a glorious day, has now turned into a search fr the next leader in the valley.
Perhaps one of the most important hires in recent ASU history, the next athletic director will oversee the changing of conferences, ground to make up in the NIL market, exploding transfer markets and a fanbase that is ready to win.
Head football coach Kenny Dillingham spoke about the qualities he is looking for in the next Sun Devil athletic director.
“I know I learned a lot from my experience being at the levels like the Auburns, and being at Oregon from an NIL standpoint and the Florida State’s,” Dillingham said. “I definitely think that the way college athletics is going, the changing of college athletics, somebody with a background, or thats been at one of these big institutions recently or is still there, because he understands the changing of this landscape.”
Dillingham expressed his desire for an athletic director who has called the shots before, someone who know the ins and outs of the NIL landscape and how recruiting, not just for football, is affected by money earning opportunities.
“He (future athletic director) understands how they’re changing, so maybe how we need to maneuver and change,” Dillingham said. “I think this landscape is changing so much. You almost have to get somebody with that background that kind of knows how it’s changing and is in it —is part of the change at a high level.”
Kenny Dillingham on the characteristics he wants to see in Arizona State's next athletic director:— Blake Niemann (@Blakes_Take2) November 14, 2023
"I think this landscape is changing so much, you almost have to get somebody with that background that knows how it's changing and is in it, part of the change at a high level." pic.twitter.com/wldNAhlwGI
In the end, Dillingham thinks that ASU has the potential to be a premier athletic university. But he also understands the experience needed to lead a department in the right direction.
“I think Arizona State, from a program perspective, from a school, can be one of the top athletic and academic institutions in the country,” Dillingham said. “I think maybe getting somebody who has a little bit of background at one of the top athletic institutions would be beneficial.”
Men’s basketball head coach Bobby Hurley spoke in his opinions, expressing his desire with an athletic director that is personable, someone who can communicate with the community and excite fans.
“The ability to connect with the community, the ability to walk into a room and have a presence,” Hurley said. “To be able to talk to people and get people engaged and get people behind athletics.”
Just like Dillingham, Hurley thinks having experience in the field will only be beneficial to Arizona State athletics.
“Certainly, someone that has gone through that process and has been in college athletics, in an athletic department, would, I’m sure, be helpful,” Hurley said.
Head baseball coach Willie Bloomquist, expressing his gratitude towards Anderson, also discussed the rapid pace of college athletics, something that is certainly NIL based.
“We’re in a landscape that is evolving,” Bloomquist said. “It’s changing every day it seems like. I think Kenny (Dillingham) did a great job when he got hired to try and ‘activate the valley’. We need it, we do. If we’re going to be successful in today’s landscape of college sports, we are going to need help.”
ASU baseball coach Willie Bloomquist on the departure of athletic director Ray Anderson. pic.twitter.com/BbRfJdMdgV— SunDevilSource.com (@SunDevilSource) November 13, 2023
“That’s not a threat, that’s not a cry,” Bloomquist said. “That’s just the honest truth, man. We’re going to fall further behind if we don’t start getting some help from people.”