Friday was Herm Edwards’ last day at ESPN and NFL Live. The long-time analyst, former NFL player and coach is headed to Tempe, where he’ll be the new head coach of Arizona State in one of college football’s most surprising offseason developments.
How unusual Arizona State’s decision, along with the corporate, NFL front office-like setup around Edwards, is something we’ll likely write plenty about in the weeks, months and years to come, depending on how what looks like an experiment goes. But Friday was about Edwards’ goodbye from a place he’s worked for nine years. (Has it really been that long? Wow.) As you’d expect, parting ways with people you’ve worked with for nearly a decade would get emotional and it very definitely did on the NFL Live set.
Standing on set with Suzy Kolber and Tedy Bruschi, the segment began with an opening statement from Edwards (during which his voice cracked) followed by a message from his wife and two daughters. Edwards then shook hands with Bruschi and received a tearful hug from Kolber. Then things got really dusty in the studio when Trey Wingo walked onto the set (in a Sun Devils t-shirt).
Here’s a clip:
Thank you, Coach Herm! pic.twitter.com/Dq152lpAvZ
— ESPN (@espn) December 8, 2017
“I’ve said this before,” said Wingo, his voice breaking. “When you arrived here in 2009, I had no idea how good I was going to have it. And I just hope those people at Arizona State realize how good they’re about to have it. You’ve been a fixture with me for nine years, doing all kinds of crazy stuff, playing all kinds of great rounds of golf. But mostly, just talking — here and away from here. You’re never too old to be coached.”
Herm's last day in Bristol. Shout to my road dog for our Mexico City trip in 2016 pic.twitter.com/nk83q9fbWB
— trey wingo (@wingoz) December 8, 2017
Surrounded by producers, crew and other on-air personalities like Matthew Berry, Edwards thanked everyone, calling ESPN his “home away from home.” Regardless of what you’ve thought of Edwards as an analyst on ESPN, the many studio shows the network has for the NFL, or him leaving to be a college football coach after eight years away from the sidelines at the age of 63, Edwards’ farewell was a touching, genuine moment to watch.
"Don't press send" and other words of wisdom in honor of Herm Edwards' last day at ESPN. pic.twitter.com/qxndwzZJGx
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) December 8, 2017