It didn’t take Arizona State long to move on after Klayton Adams said thanks but no thanks to its offer to head up the offensive line and running game.

Coach Herm Edwards is reportedly set to bring in Mike Cavanaugh, who has 30 years of Division 1 experience, the last three years coming at Syracuse. Cavanaugh was part of the interview process earlier when the job was given to Adams who eventually backed out of the position after being given a title and lofty pay increase to stay with the Indianapolis Colts.

The position coaching vacancy first came about after the expected retirement of Dave Christensen following the shortened 2020 campaign.

Cavanaugh was at Syracuse for three seasons, highlighted by a 10-3 mark in 2018. The team was decimated by injuries the last two and was a woeful 1-10 in 2020 with a 5-7 in 2019.

Cavanaugh first coached at the FBS level when he worked at Hawaii in 1999, with his run there ending in 2004. After that he moved on to the Pac-12 spending 2005-2014 at Oregon State where he worked for Mike Riley, later going to Nebraska with Riley.

During his tenure at Oregon State the coach had a compelling personal story. Cavanaugh’s wife Laurie had autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, which results in enlarged kidneys. In 2007 then offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf donated a kidney for Cavanaugh’s wife. The process of finding a donor took a year and a half during which 18 individuals were tested to see if they were matches.

Like most other coaches on the ASU staff Cavanaugh also boasts NFL experience, having spent two seasons (1997-98) with the San Diego Chargers as an assistant offensive line and quality control coach.

The appointment of Cavanaugh should round out the staff barring an unexpected development. The other new addition is that of Chris Claiborne as linebackers coach with Adam Breneman elevated from graduate assistant to tight ends coach.

USC made a hard push for ASU wide receivers coach Prentice Gill but Gill appears to be staying put, as evidenced by some social media posts that surfaced on Tuesday.

Cavanaugh will have a veteran group with which to work as four of five starters are expected to return, including left tackle Kellen Diesch and right guard Henry Hattis who came last year as graduate transfers.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783.  Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports. 

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