Pac-12 Football: Where ASU’s Shaun Aguano Ranks Among Interim Coaches

Pac-12 Football: Where ASU’s Shaun Aguano Ranks Among Interim Coaches
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

There have been 14 interim head football coaches in the Pac-12 since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2012.

The 14th and latest to achieve such a title is Arizona State’s Shaun Aguano — who took over for Herm Edwards after he was relieved of his duties in September.

It’s been a roller coaster ride for the former Chandler High School head coach, with the Sun Devils going 2-6 under Aguano’s leadership.

Aguano is in an interesting position in Tempe, as he’s the first interim coach to lead ASU since Bob Owens took over for Frank Kush after he was abruptly fired during the 1979 season.  

Because of the turmoil, it’s been a rough year for the Sun Devils at Arizona sportsbooks.

Aguano and the Sun Devils are currently listed as +165 underdogs on BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona in Friday’s Territorial Cup contest, which kicks off in Tucson at 1 p.m. local time Friday.

Ahead of the Sun Devils’ season finale against Arizona, BetArizona.com broke down how the 14 interim head coaches in the modern day Pac-12 have fared.  

Interim Coaches in the Pac-12 Since 2012

ASU

  • 2022: Shaun Aguano (replaced Herm Edwards)
  • Record: 2-6

Colorado

  • 2022: Mike Sanford (replaced Karl Dorrell)
  • 2018: Kurt Roper (replaced Mike MacIntyre)
  • Record: 1-5

Oregon

  • 2021: Bryan McClendon (replaced Mario Cristobal, who left for Miami)
  • 2017: Mario Cristobal (replaced Willie Taggart, who left for FSU)
  • Record: 0-2

Oregon State

  • 2017: Cory Hall (replaced Gary Andersen)
  • Record: 0-6

USC

  • 2021: Donte Williams (replaced Clay Helton)
  • 2015: Clay Helton (replaced Steve Sarkisian)
  • 2013: Ed Orgeron (replaced Lane Kiffin); Clay Helton (replaced Ed Orgeron, who resigned)
  • Record: 15-13

UCLA

  • 2017: Jedd Fisch (replaced Jim Mora Jr.)
  • Record: 1-1

Washington

  • 2021: Bob Gregory (replaced Jimmy Lake)
  • 2013: Marques Tuiasosopo (replaced Steve Sarkisian, who left for USC)
  • Record: 1-3

Washington State

  • 2021: Jake Dickert (replaced Nick Rolovich)
  • Record: 3-3

Note: Arizona, Cal, Utah and Stanford haven’t had interim coaches during this time period.
Total Record: 23-39

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Where Aguano Ranks Among Pac-12 Interim Coaches

Aguano joins a lengthening list of Pac-12 interim head football coaches that have taken over midseason in recent years. He's joined this year by Colorado’s Mike Sanford.

Sanford replaced CU coach Karl Dorrell, who was fired in October after going 8-15 in Boulder (and 6-9 against Pac-12 competition).

The interim coach that had the most success in the current Pac-12 was former USC interim coach Ed Orgeron, who led the Trojans to a 6-2 record after Lane Kiffin was fired midseason in 2013.

The Trojans also reaped instant success out of another midseason interim coach when Clay Helton guided them to a 5-4 record after Steve Sarkisian was fired in 2015.

In total, USC had the most interim head coaches (four) and the best overall success under such leadership (15-13) since 2012.

The only other programs with multiple interim coaches during the past decade were CU (1-5 under Sanford and Kurt Roper in 2018), Oregon (0-2 under Bryan McClendon in 2021 and Mario Cristobal in 2017) and Washington (1-3 under Bob Gregory in 2021 and Marques Tuiasosopo in 2013).

Pac-12 members that had one interim coach between 2012 and 2022 are UCLA (Jedd Fisch, 1-1 in 2017), Oregon State (Cory Hall, 0-6 in 2017), and Washington State (Jake Dickert, 3-3 in 2021).

Odds are against Aguano landing the full-time gig at ASU, however, as only Helton, Dickert, and Cristobal landed the permanent gig after their interim stint concluded.  

Of that trio, Helton had the longest run at the school where they were an interim coach, going 51-29 and reaching the 2016 Rose Bowl across eight seasons in L.A.

Cristobal had the highest winning percentage of the three, going 35-13 (.729) in five seasons in Eugene, before the siren song of his alma mater (Miami) called and he left for warmer pastures.

The third and final interim, turned permanent coach (Jake Dickert) has seen decent success this fall in Pullman — leading the Cougars to a 7-4 record to boost his total record on the Palouse to 10-7.

When Aguano steps on the Arizona Stadium turf on Friday afternoon, he’ll become the first interim coach for either team in the rivalry since Arizona’s Tim Kish led the Wildcats to a 31-27 victory over the Sun Devils in Tempe in 2011.

While a win over the Wildcats will be too little, too late for Aguano to secure a bowl berth for the Sun Devils, it at least allows him to exit the stage on a high note.

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Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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