“At ASU we have three priorities for our athletic director,” said University President
Dr. Michael Crow, “help our student-athletes maximize their academic achievement
and ensure they graduate on time; win; and win within the rules. Ray has the
skills, experience and enthusiasm to accomplish those goals. Under his leadership,
ASU student-athletes will continue to perform at the highest level both on the field
and in the classroom. Ray will also play an important role in the university’s cam-
paign to improve and expand its sports facilities through the development of the ASU Athletic Facilities District.”
Anderson was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the 25 Most Influential Minorities in Sports in February 2016,
noting that he had “helped position the Sun Devils as one of the most innovative brands in college sports”.
While national trends lean toward downsizing athletics departments and eliminating non-revenue generating
sporting programs, Anderson has made it his mission to not only add NCAA Division I sports at Arizona
State, but expand educational and scholarship opportunities for future Sun Devil student-athletes.
In May 2016, Sun Devil Athletics announced the reinstatement of the men's tennis program at Arizona
State – an act made possible through a $1M lead gift from Anderson himself and his wife, Buffie. This
came just a month after Sun Devil Athletics announced a strategic alliance with the Intercollegiate Tennis
Association (ITA) to leverage the resources of a research-based University to grow the sport of tennis
locally, nationally and globally.
In November 2014, Anderson announced the addition of the Men’s Ice Hockey program, which was made pos-
sible through a record-setting $32 million donation, the largest in Sun Devil Athletics history. This gift provided
mechanisms to fund the addition of both women’s lacrosse and women’s triathlon, which were both announced
in the fall of 2015. The addition of these programs not only helps Arizona State maintain equity among scholar-
ships, but also creates new opportunities to attract and retain diverse talent, both academic and athletically.
Anderson has also clearly defined his expectations for Arizona State to be nationally competitive in all 26
varsity programs, and has parlayed this vision into a number of world-class head-coaching hires unseen
at the collegiate level, including USA Swimming Coach Bob Bowman, a hall of famer and mentor to the
world’s most decorated Olympian, to head up the men and women’s swimming program, Zeke Jones, USA
Wrestling’s National Freestyle Coach, to take over the wrestling program, Bobby Hurley, one of the most
decorated college basketball players in history, to coach the men’s basketball program, Tracy Smith, a two-
time conference coach of the year and experienced fundraiser, to revitalize the baseball program, Matt Hill,
a three-time coach of the year with experience at three different Top 25 programs, to lead the reinstated
men’s tennis program and Matt Thurmond, the 2009 National Coach of the Year who coached and seven-
time national Top-10 finisher, to take over ASU’s surging men’s golf program.
Anderson is in the midst of an athletics’ facilities renaissance with the $256 million reinvention of Sun Devil
Stadium and the University land development project known as the Athletic Facilities District or The District. The
District is comprised of 330 acres of ASU-owned land that the University plans to lease long term to develop-
ers, while Sun Devil Athletics will receive annual payments in-lieu of property tax traditionally paid on privately
owned land. Anderson, along with University officials, is leading the charge to reinvent Sun Devil Stadium, cur-
rently on pace to finishes the second phase of three schedule phases. , into a community facility and use the
55,000-plus-seat venue to generate additional revenue for ASU. The Sun Devil Stadium 365 Reinvention seeks
to blend athletics, student life, and the community into an interdisciplinary facility that will have utility beyond
six or seven days a year. In addition, Anderson oversaw the baseball program’s celebrated move into Phoenix
Municipal Stadium, and the men’s and women’s golf programs transition to Papago Golf Course.
Not only has Anderson put an emphasis on the continued development of Sun Devil Athletics facilities,
but to ensure that it is being done in the most sustainable and eco-friendly way possible. As a result, the
National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USG Corporation announced Arizona
State as the winner of the 2016 USG NACDA Sustainability Award for its work on Sun Devil Stadium and
the Weatherup Center. The USG NACDA Sustainability Award was designed to recognize NACDA member
institutions across all divisions, honoring athletics directors and their universities for incorporating sustain-
able practices and materials into their athletics facilities.
The ‘Sun Devil Way’, a mission statement that encompasses the goals
of athletics at Arizona State – Sun Devils Win, Sun Devils Graduate,
Sun Devils Serve, Sun Devils are for Life, and Sun Devils compete with
Passion and Character - has served as the template for Anderson’s
leadership philosophy. He has placed a strong emphasis on student-
athlete development with a number of unique and creative initiatives,
including the creation of the Senior
Championship Life Experience program,
which launched with a special showing of
the play ‘Black Angels Over Tuskegee’ at
ASU’s Galvin Playhouse in January 2016.
Positioning Sun Devil Athletics as a com-
munity asset has stayed at the front of
Anderson’s strategic plan and he has led
a number of unprecedented community
initiatives, including the creation of the
Honor Row for military veterans at a
number of Sun Devil facilities. With 100
percent participation in community service
by Sun Devil student-athletes, coaches and
staff in 2016, Sun Devil Athletics helped to
serve 276,099 community members over
7,046.25 hours – both all-time highs for
the department. Sun Devils Serve projects
took place in four states (Arizona, California, Nevada and Louisiana)
and three Native American Nations (Colorado River Indiana Tribe, Gila River Indian Tribe and Havasupai
Tribe). Understanding the importance of building fan affinity, Anderson created the Sun Devil Caravan when
he arrived in Tempe to reward Sun Devil Nation’s loyalty and enthusiasm. The caravan brings the Sun Devil
Athletics experience directly to the fans and allows Sun Devil Nation to connect one-on-one with coaches,
student-athletes, and administrators.
Anderson has implemented an innovative business model at Arizona State to foster growth and to create
sustainable revenue sources for Sun Devil Athletics. Less than a year into his tenure, Anderson negotiated an
industry-leading apparel partnership with adidas in December of 2014. The eight-year, $38M agreement not
only set provisions for wholesale apparel, but adidas also provided additional funding for marketing, facility
improvements, marching band and spirit squad apparel. Anderson also strategically eliminated third-party part-
nerships and aligned Sun Devil Athletics’ ticketing and multimedia rights with the Pac-12 Sales Co., becoming
the first member school to partner with the conference to bring sponsorships and licensing in house.
He was recognized during the week of Super Bowl XLIX by the National Football League for his outstanding
leadership with a desire to improving his community as he was presented with both the 2015 Paul J. Tagliabue
Award and the John Wooten Lifetime Achievement Award, two of the NFL’s most prestigious honors.
Anderson joined the Sun Devil Family after serving as the executive vice president of football operations for
the National Football League (NFL) since August 2006.
“In evaluating the next step in my career, I could not imagine a better, more exciting opportunity,” said
Anderson. “I am thrilled to become part of the team at Arizona State and energized by the academic and
athletic mission of this great university. I am eagerly looking forward to the challenge of not only continu-
ing the success of Arizona State athletics but also building on it to accomplish even more in line with
President Crow’s priorities.”
He served as the executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the Atlanta Falcons for four
years, and began his professional career as an attorney at Kilpatrick & Cody in Atlanta, Georgia, where he
worked primarily in labor law litigation.
A Los Angeles, California native, Anderson earned a BA in political science from Stanford in 1976 and a
juris doctorate degree from Harvard Law School in 1979. He was an all-league high school quarterback
and shortstop, and a three-year football letterman and two-year baseball letterman at Stanford.
Anderson co-founded the sports law practice at Heller, Ehrman, a prominent San Francisco firm, in 1980 and
entered the sports agency business in 1984 when he opened the West Coast office for Sports Advisors Group.
In 1987, he launched his own agency, AR Sports, specializing in the representation of NFL coaches and players
and later adding Major League Baseball players. Anderson merged his agency with Octagon in 2001.
As an indication of the high regard in which Anderson is held, he was appointed to the NFL Committee on
Workplace Diversity and was named to Sports Illustrated’s list of the "101 Most Influential Minorities in
Sports." He was also named to the prestigious "100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc.", a group dedicated to
providing support and improving the quality of life for African-Americans, and to the Board of Governors of
the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.
In April 2014 it was announced that Anderson would be a professor of practice in ASU’s new sports law
and business program, a collaboration of the highly ranked Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and W. P.
Carey School of Business.
He and his wife, Buffie, have one son, Bryant, and one daughter, Kimberly.
A T H L E T I C S D I R E C T O R
Ray Anderson was named Arizona State
University’s Vice President for University
Athletics and Athletics Director on Jan. 9,
2014, and has quickly begun to redefine
the collegiate athletics landscape over the
course of his tenure at ASU.
SUN DEVIL FOOTBALL 2016
SUN DEVIL ATHLETICS
Fred M. Irish, 1896-1913
George Schaeffer, 1914-1916
George Edwin Cooper, 1917-1921
Ernest Wills, 1922
Aaron M. McCreary, 1923-1929
Ted Edwin Shipkey, 1930-1932
Rudolf M. Lavik, 1933-1949
Donn Kinzle, 1949-1952
Donald R. Van Petten, 1952-1954
Clyde B. Smith, 1955-1971
Fred L. Miller, 1971-1980
Joe Kearney, 1980
Dick Tamburo, 1980-1984
Frank Sackton (interim), 1984-1985
Charles S. Harris, 1985-1995
Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson (interim),
1995-1996, 2000, 2005
Dr. Kevin White, 1996-2000
Gene Smith, 2000-2005
Lisa Love, 2005-2012
Steve Patterson, 2012-14
Ray Anderson, 2014-present