Former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is joining Arizona State’s football staff, Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards announced Tuesday.
“Marvin Lewis is one of the most respected minds in our game,” Edwards said in a statement. “Whether as the winningest coach in the franchise history of the Cincinnati Bengals, or the architect of one of the greatest defenses in NFL history, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, Marvin has succeeded everywhere he has been and he has done it the right way. His passion for teaching will be an incredible benefit not only for our coaches, but also for the young men we are responsible for as students and athletes.”
Edwards said Lewis, who was fired in December after coaching the Bengals for 16 seasons, will serve as a special adviser. Lewis will serve as a sounding board for the coaching staff and advise coaches and staff members. He will be a part of game strategy and could become a “face of the program” for speaking engagements down the road.
Lewis will not be permitted to work directly with players, as he is not officially a position coach.
“I’ve known Herman for almost 30 years and the opportunity to come and assist him and his coaches win football games is very exciting and appealing,” Lewis said in a statement. “Arizona State and Tempe have always been special to me.
“I envision just being another set of eyes, another set of ears, and doing anything I can to help the coaches. I was really impressed with the staff and what they accomplished after they hit the ground running last season. ASU is a great university and is known for having an outstanding athletic program that has always been able to attract top athletes from around the country and I look forward to doing all I can to help the program.”
Lewis went 131-122-3 during his 16 years in Cincinnati, setting the franchise record for career wins. He was the franchise’s longest-tenured coach and set the club’s head coaching record for playoff appearances (seven), consecutive playoff appearances (five) and division titles (four). The seven playoff berths under Lewis equaled the number the Bengals had in the 35 seasons before his arrival in 2003.
However, Lewis went 0-7 in the playoffs and was fired following the 2018 season after a 6-10 year, despite a 4-1 start.
Lewis joins ASU’s staff following an impressive 7-6 debut for Edwards that included upset wins over Michigan State and Utah, which were both ranked 15th nationally when the Sun Devils played them.