Herm Edwards will return to ESPN as an NFL and college football analyst, the network announced Tuesday. This news comes six weeks after Edwards was fired as Arizona State’s head football coach.
Edwards worked with ESPN from 2009 until 2017, when he left to lead ASU.
After four seasons in Tempe, Edwards was let go on Sept. 18 after a loss to Eastern Michigan dropped the Sun Devils to 1-2.
Video from after that game sparked reports that Edwards might have been made aware of this decision on the field, in a conversation with athletic director Ray Anderson.
While Arizona State finished above .500 in each of Edwards’ three full seasons at the helm, the team had been the subject of an offseason NCAA inquiry into potential recruiting violations, where it was alleged that ASU hosted recruits on campus during NCAA-mandated recruiting dead periods. Five assistant coaches departed amid the inquiry, including defensive coordinator and former NFL linebacker Antonio Pierce.
Now, Edwards returns to ESPN in a role that he feels allows him to “give back to fans.”
“I look forward to returning to ESPN where I spent so many wonderful years and established so many incredible friendships,” Edwards said.
“When Herm left for Arizona State, we said we’d keep a seat open for him,” ESPN vice president of production Seth Markman said in a news release. “After all he did for us on the air and behind the scenes, he deserved that. We are thrilled to welcome him back.”
While his coaching career ended abruptly, Edwards has a breadth of experience to pull from in his new role. At 68 years old, he has done it all in the NFL.
“There is no better teammate, and we can’t wait for him to bring his unique coaching perspective and passion for the game back for our viewers,” Markman added.
Edwards played defensive back for 10 NFL seasons (1977-86), notably recording 38 career interceptions for the Philadelphia Eagles. He worked as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1990, then filled some assistant and coaching roles until landing his first head coaching job.
Edwards is one of only a handful of NFL coaches to lead two different teams to the playoffs in his first season as head coach. Leading the New York Jets (2001-05) and Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08), Edwards saw four playoff appearances.
Starting with a live debut on “SportsCenter” on Friday, Edwards will appear on “SportsCenter,” “Get Up,” “NFL Live,” ESPN Radio shows and more as part of his multi-year agreement.