Sports Outside the Beltway

Former Arizona State sports coach William Kajikawa dead at 97

Nicknamed ‘Kaji’, he led ASU’s basketball, baseball, and freshman football teams at one time or another. RIP.

William (Bill) “Kaji” Kajikawa, a legendary former football, basketball and baseball coach at Arizona State, died Monday morning. He was 97.Bill Kajikawa

Kajikawa began his coaching career at Arizona State in 1937 and retired in 1978.

He began coaching the Arizona State Teacher’s College freshman football team in 1937, when the players were known as the Bulldogs. During his tenure, Kajikawa watched the Bulldogs become the Sun Devils in 1946, and he saw his alma mater gain university status in 1958.

Before retiring in 1978, Kajikawa had worked as the freshman football coach under nine ASU head football coaches. In addition, he served as head basketball coach from 1948 to 1957, and he was head coach of ASU’s club baseball team from 1947 to 1957. He was inducted into the Arizona Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the ASU Hall of Distinction in 1982.


Arizona State Baseball Coach Pat Murphy resigns

Before coming to Tempe he had coached at Notre Dame. From AP-

Pat Murphy abruptly resigned after 15 seasons as baseball coach at Arizona State on Friday.

University vice president for athletics Lisa Love said she accepted the resignation to allow Murphy and the program to move in a “new direction,” the Arizona Republic reported.

According to the report, Love said Murphy’s resignation was not directly related to an ongoing two-year school investigation into allegations made against him by a former baseball employee, including claims of academic fraud and improper recruiting travel.


The colorful and often outspoken Murphy led the Sun Devils to the College World Series four times — 1998, 2005, 2007 and 2009. The program has produced several major league players, including Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dustin Pedroia of the Boston Red Sox, who appeared along with Muhammad Ali at a recent Murphy fundraiser.

He took over the historically successful Sun Devils program in August 1994 after seven seasons at Notre Dame. Under Murphy, Arizona State was 629-284-1.

“Coach Murphy has an outstanding record of success on the playing field,” Love said in a prepared statement. “I thank him for 16 years of hard work and service to the university and the sport.”

The Sun Devils had won the past three Pac-10 titles, with Murphy named conference coach of the year each time. Murphy, 50, had offered no hint publicly of his impending resignation in recent interviews.

This is definitely an odd time to resigning. It would seem Murphy’s resignation to tied to the troubles currently under investigation at ASU.


Dallas Cowboys 2009 Undrafed Free Agents

The Dallas Cowboys signed eight undrafted players Monday: Travis Bright,  G,   Brigham Young; Rudy Carpenter, QB, Arizona State; Julian Hawkins, WR, Boise State; Jamar Hun, FB, UTEP; Greg Isdaner, G, West Virginia; Kevin Ogletree, WR,  Virginia; Asaph Schwapp, FB, Notre Dame; and Michael Turkovich, G, Notre Dame.

This team is talented and just drafted an even dozen players.  It’s doubtful, then, that any of the players above will make the active roster, let alone land starting jobs this year.  Mostly, they’re being added to the roster as practice fodder; that’s especially true at QB, where you only have three guys otherwise.

I don’t know any of these guys or their talent levels, aside from the fact that 200-odd players were thought worthy of drafting and none of these were.  If I had to take a guess, I’d say one of the fullbacks has the best shot at making the roster just because the Cowboys only have one on the roster.


Former Arizona State Coach Bruce Snyder dead at 69

He took the Sun Devils to one of their only two Rose Bowl appearances ever. Snyder was also the second winningest coach in Arizona State history. RIP.

Bruce Snyder, whose 20-year career as a college football coach included an unbeaten regular season at Arizona State, has died after a 10-month fight against cancer.

Snyder, who was 69, died at his Phoenix home Monday, the university said. He coached the Sun Devils from 1992-2000. His 1996 team went 11-0 in the regular season before a last-minute 20-17 loss to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

Snyder also was the coach at Utah State from 1976-82 and California from 1987-91. His overall record was 126-105-5. At Arizona State, Snyder was 58-47, second only to Frank Kush for victories with the Sun Devils.


Idaho Players Angry at Erickson

Dennis Errickson left behind some bruised feelings in Moscow, Idaho.

Athletic director Rob Spears said the comments to him had generally been “very angry [about Erickson leaving] and very supportive of the program. I don’t know if you could say it will galvanize us, but I do think we have a chance to turn a negative into a positive.”

Spears would not give a timetable for the Vandals’ third search for a football coach in four years. “I’m going to find somebody that not only understands Idaho but appreciates the university and what a fine institution we have,” he said. “It’s going to be done when it’s done.”

Whoever takes the job will face some skeptical players. “It was kind of weird with Erickson talking and telling us he thinks he can win a national championship at Arizona State. It makes us realize the doubt he had in us,” Bird said. “I guess he has to do what he has to do. We just didn’t expect it, but it’s certainly something we can get over. Hopefully they can get a guy in here that genuinely cares about us and wants to build a program. The hardest thing is to find a guy that isn’t going to use us and not use the school as a stepping stone.”

That’s not going to happen. Idaho is a stepping stone. Sorry, guys.

Ironically, Erickson’s first stint as a head coach was with the Vandals from 1982-85. It has been a long journey since:

Dennis Erickson’s Coaching Record
Dennis Erickson will be the next head coach at Arizona State, according to the Idaho athletic director. He has amassed a 149-64-1 career record in 18 seasons at the collegiate level and a 40-56 record in six seasons in the NFL.



Washington State

Seattle (NFL)
Oregon State

San Francisco (NFL)


My problem isn’t coaches using lesser schools to build up resumes to get more lucrative opportunities elsewhere. Coaching is a job, after all. But they should not be allowed to sell players on four years together and then leave them, not only in a lurch, but stuck at that school under NCAA rules. If coaches can leave whenever they get a better offer, student-athletes should have the same right.


Dennis Erickson Takes Arizona State Job

The Dennis Erickson road show is taking its act to Arizona State.

Dennis Erickson has accepted the head coaching job at Arizona State, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear said Saturday night.

The 59-year-old Erickson spent one season at Idaho in his second stint at the school, going 4-8. He led Miami to two national titles, also has been a head coach at Wyoming, Washington State and Oregon State and coached Seattle and San Francisco in the NFL.

Erickson has a 149-64-1 record in 18 seasons as a college coach. At Oregon State, he took over a program that had an NCAA Division I-record 28 straight losing seasons. His first team in Corvallis went 7-5 and made an Oahu Bowl appearance. His second Beavers’ team routed Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl to cap an 11-1 season.

Erickson has been an enormously successful college coach, so it’s no surprise that he’s getting a chance to move up the ranks. I’m surprised Miami didn’t make a run at him.


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