Back on the Grass
Written by Dr Jim Tunney on August 28, 2018
On The TunneySide of Sports August 27, 2018 #707 Up next…Back on the Grass
After further review…This coming weekend, September 1st, is the start of the 2018 college football (NCAA) season. For Coach Herm Edwards it’s beginning of another adventure in his already exciting athletic life. His sports interests began in Seaside, California at the Boys Club—just a “shack” of a place, but that’s where his athletic friends hung out. Being an aggressive type, he could have joined a gang — there were several of those around. However, Herm focused his energy on sports. He never let grass grow under his feet; and speaking of grass, he spent every spare hour using a borrowed lawn mower to cut the neighbors’ lawn for $1.00.
In Herm’s other times, particularly early mornings (like 5:00am) he patrolled Fort Ord with his Army Master Sergeant father. As the sun was coming up and the bugle was sounding reveille, Herman, Sr. driving his military vehicle, would say, “Get out son, we gotta face the east and stand at attention.” What do you think Coach Edwards will be doing during the anthem prior to every ASU Sun Devils game this coming season? You can bet that his players will do the same.
In the late 1960s Herm was “bussed” (a minority issue in those days) from Seaside to Monterey (California) High School and played football for Coach Dan Albert, Sr. Then onto Cal, then to Monterey Peninsula College where he set an interception record as a starting defensive back.
Matriculating to San Diego State and starting as a DB for the Aztecs, Herm was not drafted by the NFL upon graduation. However, Head Coach Dick Vermeil of the Philadelphia Eagles recruited him as a walk-on where he played 9 years and in Super Bowl XV. When he finished playing, he became a position coach for Kansas City Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer. His strengths were easily recognized by Head Coach Tony Dungy at Tampa Bay, where he then served as defensive coordinator. In 2001 he was selected as Head Coach of the New York Jets, taking them to the AFC playoffs. After leaving the Jets, he moved on to be Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs taking them to AFC playoffs as well.
When Herm left the Chiefs, ESPN came calling and he became an immediate TV star on “NFL Live” working on air in that capacity for 9 years. Ray Anderson, who at one time was Herm’s agent, was now the Arizona State University athletic vice-president and wanted more from the Sun Devils football program. Anderson persuaded Edwards to become the head coach of the Sun Devils. That’s where you’ll find him this football season.
Herm and I met in 1982 when he was raising money to build a new Boys Club – now called Monterey Peninsula Boys and Girls Club, and along with Mike Chapman, he solicited my help. That club is now a magnificent structure serving several hundreds of young people each day.
Will you be a Sun Devils fan becoming energized by the Coach Edwards code?
My book “It’s the Will, Not the Skill” chronicles in complete detail the above and can be found here for $20 with free shipping, a free bookmark and is autographed by me.