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Herm Edwards will interview for Arizona State head-coaching job

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Herm has missed coaching football (1:07)

Herm Edwards confirms that he will be interviewing for the vacant ASU head-coaching position and says he's still a coach at heart. (1:07)

ESPN NFL analyst Herm Edwards has emerged as a serious candidate to become the head coach at Arizona State.

Edwards, 63, will interview with the school this week, he confirmed Tuesday.

The former NFL cornerback has not coached since 2008, when he guided the Kansas City Chiefs to a 2-14 record. In eight seasons as an NFL head coach, including stints with the New York Jets (2001-05) and Chiefs (2006-08), Edwards went 54-74.

"Some people say, 'He's been out of football for a long time.' No I haven't. I just haven't coached football," Edwards told SportsCenter on Wednesday. "My mind and my passion is still in football. I coach it every day that I walk into this studio. I visit a lot of college campuses, [have] spoken to a lot of college teams, gone to college practices. ... I'm interested."

Edwards, who played at California and at San Diego State, has not coached at the college level since 1989, when he oversaw the defensive backs at San Jose State. His most recent coaching experience has come at the Under Armour All-American game, where he spent time around some of the nation's top recruits each of the past seven years.

"Believe it or not, that is one of the funnest weeks I have," Edwards said. "Every year, I look forward to coaching that game. Why? It's young, talented players to come out of high school. ...

"It's fun. At heart, I'm still a coach. I'm always a coach."

He will interview to replace Todd Graham, who was fired Sunday after leading the Sun Devils to a 46-31 record in six seasons. Graham and his staff will remain on board through the team's bowl game.

"It has to be the right fit," Edwards said. "Coaching is about fits."

ASU vice president of athletics Ray Anderson, in a news conference to announce Graham's dismissal, said he expects the next coach be open to keeping both of Graham's coordinators, Billy Napier and Phil Bennett.

"In my view, [first-year offensive coordinator] Billy Napier has done an outstanding job with our offense," Anderson said. "In my view, [first-year defensive coordinator] Phil Bennett has helped us make progress with our defense. I've made it very clear to both of those guys that we want them to have the opportunity to come back and any head coach that comes in here and doesn't see that value is not the guy for us.

"And so it's not a situation where we need to clean house and start over. [Quarterback] Manny Wilkins doesn't need a fourth coordinator in four years. That will not be our direction."

Anderson arrived at ASU in 2014 after previously serving as the NFL's executive vice president of football operations for more than eight years. He also previously worked as an agent, and at one time represented Edwards.

"This is a place where, Ray Anderson is there, I know the man," Edwards said. "We have the same kind of philosophy on things we want to do. So I'm going to go down there and have a conversation."

Anderson said he would not use a search firm to find the school's next coach.

"We have been average, 7-5 and second place in a riddled Pac-12 South is not our aspiration," Anderson said. "We deserve more. We have the capacity and the university and the community that deserves more and, quite frankly, should demand more."

Edwards is known for his high energy, motivational speeches and soundbites given at news conferences, the most famous being "You play to win the game." He has written a book by that title.

"They're a pretty good football team," Edwards said of the Sun Devils. "They've done a nice job there. I think the defense could improve with some players, add some players there. Offensively, they score points and do a nice job. ... It's a tough conference, by the way."