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January 8, 2014

Sources: Ray Anderson next ASU athletics head

Arizona State will name former NFL executive Vice President for Operations Ray Anderson as its next head athletics official in a Thursday press conference ASUDevils.com has learned and was first to report.

Anderson announced he was leaving his NFL post in December to pursue other opportunities and was the only candidate offered the ASU Vice President of Athletics position according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An ASU athletic department official declined comment.

"I have been involved in many different aspects of the NFL -- as an agent, club executive, and league executive," Anderson said at the time of his departure from the NFL. "I have always enjoyed new challenges and the time is right for me to evolve into the next phase of my career. I appreciate the opportunity Commissioner (Roger) Goodell gave me and the support I have enjoyed from a great staff."

Goodell said of Anderson, "Ray's wide-ranging experience in football has played an important role in our football operations. Ray has been a strong contributor, always focusing on our key priorities. His engaging personality helped smooth the edges of many a difficult issue. We appreciate Ray's contributions and know he will be successful in his next venture."

The top ASU position opened in November when Steve Patterson accepted the head athletics position at Texas.

Anderson held the NFL position for eight years and prior to that was executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Atlanta Falcons.

A source told ASUDevils.com that Anderson would make significantly less money in taking the ASU position than he was making with the NFL or would be able to earn in another capacity.

Anderson played football and baseball at Stanford and later reportedly graduated from Harvard Law School before working labor law litigation and eventually opening his own sports agency.

ASUDevils.com was first to report following Patterson's departure that Korn Ferry executive search firm Vice Chairman Jed Hughes was contracted by ASU to help identify a replacement.

Anderson will lead an ASU athletic department with an annual operation budget in excess of $60 million dollars at a critical time. The school is working to finalize its plan of finance for the nine figure renovation of aging Sun Devil Stadium. Estimates for the project range to in excess of $300 million.

Sources familiar with ASU's plans have said the athletic department is planning a major announcement regarding its stadium plans for early this year.

ASU President Dr. Michael Crow and football coach Todd Graham have been directly involved in major fundraising efforts for the stadium with both private individuals and corporate entities.

Excluding interim leaders, Anderson will be the ninth head of ASU athletics since the start of the Pac-10 era in 1978 following the likes of noted leaders Fred Miller (1971-80), Charles Harris (1985-95), Kevin White (1996-2000), Gene Smith (2000-2005) and Lisa Love (2005-12).


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