TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State's next football coach will
likely make more money than the last one.
And he will be expected to win more big games than the last one.
Unsatisfied with a run of minor bowl berths, athletic director
Lisa Love is looking to upgrade the program's profile as she
launches her search for a successor to Dirk Koetter.
Koetter went 40-33 in six seasons at ASU and took the team to
three consecutive bowls, but Love said he didn't beat enough elite
opponents, which is why she dismissed him with three years and
$2.85 million remaining on his contract.
"The next person that I will be hiring won't be shy about
this," Love said. "They'll clearly understand the goals. The
winner of the Pac-10 Conference plays in the Rose Bowl. The Rose
Bowl is the goal for Sun Devil football. No one should approach me
about this job if they don't understand that and they don't
understand what's going on at Arizona State University, because
it's pretty powerful stuff."
ASU has played in two Rose Bowls in 29 years as a Pac-10 member.
But Love, who came to Arizona State from tradition-laden USC,
believes the program hasn't reached its potential.
At the news conference announcing Koetter's dismissal Sunday
night, Love said her search "starts five minutes ago. I'm on it."
Love said she had not had preliminary contact with potential
candidates, and she declined to discuss names on the seemingly
endless lists generated by local fans and media.
Former Arizona Cardinals head coach Dave McGinnis is among those
whose names are circulating. McGinnis, now the Tennessee Titans'
assistant head coach, has expressed interest.
Love wouldn't say whether she favors a coach with college or NFL
experience. But she made it clear that head coaching experience --
at a high level -- would be a plus.
"I'm attracted to people who have a rather powerful profile,"
Love said. "Perhaps there's a powerful resume. Perhaps there's a
lot of coaching at very high levels."
This will be the second high-profile coaching search Love has
launched since she arrived in April 2005.
After men's basketball coach Rob Evans was released last spring,
Love courted Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon. Pitt quickly extended
Dixon's contract, and Love hired Herb Sendek, who had compiled a
winning record at North Carolina State.
Now, Love is looking for a football coach less than a year after
giving Koetter a two-year contract extension through the 2009
season. The university owes Koetter $2.85 million, and it must pay
him even if he takes another job, according to the executive
summary of the contract approved by the Arizona Board of Regents
The next coach likely will command more money, but Love said her
budget isn't limitless.
"It's not an open checkbook," Love said.
Arizona State already ranks among the Pac-10 leaders in football
expenditures. ASU spent $14.4 million on football in the 2005-06
school year, according to figures it reported to the U.S.
Department of Education. That was third among Pac-10 schools,
behind USC ($17.2 million) and Washington ($15.1 million).
Love's search has to move quickly if the new coach hopes to lure
a solid recruiting class. But she said she would be willing to wait
for a candidate who may not be available until January because of
bowl or NFL playoff commitments.
"The talent could make me wait," Love said.