Arizona State fans would like to think that after rolling to a division title this season, Todd Graham is the new sheriff in town in the Pac-12 South. And so it only makes sense that the Sun Devils now have a deputy, too.
Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell was promoted to "Deputy Head Coach" Tuesday, Graham and Arizona State announced, having "solidified his intent to remain a Sun Devil."
CBSSports.com's Jerey Fowler reported Monday that the Sun Devils and Norvell were working on a "reworked" contract.
“I am committed to the long-term success of this program under the leadership of Todd Graham,” school president Dr. Michael Crow said in a statement. “Rewarding the skills of a master teacher like Mike Norvell is a demonstration of that commitment. Coach Norvell's performance as offensive coordinator has been nationally recognized, and this promotion reflects the remarkable track record he has established in the last two years at ASU.”
CoachingSearch.com reported that Norvell had interviewed for the head coaching position at Arkansas State, and Fowler reported Dec. 11 that Will Muschamp might consider Norvell for Florida's open offensive coordinator's job.
But Norvell said Tuesday that his immediate future is with Arizona State .
“I work with a world-class head coach and staff, and have the opportunity every day to teach world-class student-athletes at one of the top public universities in the world,” coach Norvell said. “I am proud of what we have accomplished in two years here, but I remain devoted to our ultimate goal of bringing a championship to the valley.”
Norvell's offense ranked an impressive ninth in the nation in scoring, racking up an even 41 points per-game, and finished 29th in total offense. (The Sun Devils did rank 50th in the FBS and 7th in the Pac-12 in yards per-play, suggesting Norvell still has some room for improvement in the big-play department.) ASU scored 50 or more points six times, including 58 points on rival Arizona, 53 on Washington, and 62 on USC in Lane Kiffin's final game as Trojan head coach.
So don't be surprised if Norvell is spotted wearing a little maroon and gold badge next season. He's earned it. (At least, we hope he's wearing a little maroon and gold badge next season. We'd enjoy it.)