Ray Anderson resigns as ASU’s athletic director

An embattled figure has stepped down
Arizona State Athletic Director Ray Anderson walks on the sideline during the second half of...
Published: Nov. 13, 2023 at 11:47 AM MST
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TEMPE, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) -- Ray Anderson, Arizona State’s Vice President for University Athletics and athletic director, has resigned, the school announced Monday. Jim Rund, ASU’s Senior Vice President for Educational Outreach and Student Services, will serve as the interim athletic director.

Anderson was hired in January 2014. His tenure saw successes in raising academic performance, Olympic sports, and major facility upgrades and construction. Under his watch, ASU added men’s hockey and built the new Mullett Arena for hockey, along with bringing back men’s tennis. He oversaw the final phase of the $307 million renovations to Mountain America Stadium, among other advances.

However, Anderson has been a frequent target of fan ire in recent years. Under his watch, Anderson—a former agent—hired his former client Herm Edwards as head football coach in late 2017. After early signs of growth, the program came under investigation by the NCAA for recruiting violations and saw a major drop in on-field success, leading to Edwards’ departure—along with a $4.4 million buyout—after three games in the 2022 season. ASU has also struggled for consistency in men’s basketball, and the school has been slow to adapt to the modern collegiate sports landscape in regards to name, image, and likeness compensation for student-athletes.

“It has been a privilege to serve as ASU’s athletic director for nearly a decade,” Anderson stated in a release. “We have entered an unprecedented era where the number and magnitude of changes in the college sports landscape are astounding. As I approach my seventh decade of life, these are not matters that my leadership would be able to corral during my tenure. Continuity of leadership will be needed, and I am choosing to step aside to let the university find that leader.”

Anderson will remain at the university as a professor of practice and senior advisor to the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

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