Arizona State and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Haynes is interested in his alma mater’s vacant athletic director position. A source close to the Sun Devil athletic department said the feeling might be mutual.
Haynes, currently the vice president of player development for the NFL, told the Tribune on Monday that he’s had recent discussions with ASU president Michael Crow regarding the AD position but stopped short of anointing himself an official candidate.
However, a source confirmed that Haynes is one of up to a half-dozen candidates to succeed Gene Smith, who resigned to take over at Ohio State last month.
"I called (Crow) initially to offer my help in the search for an AD, and we’ve had contact a few other times since then,’’ said Haynes, a cornerstone of the 1975 ASU team that went 12-0 and beat Nebraska 17-14 in the Fiesta Bowl. "Right now, I’m not at liberty to talk about our discussions.’’
But when asked if he would be interested in the job, Haynes was more talkative.
"Because it’s my alma mater, yes, I’d be interested,’’ said Haynes, who sponsors a graduate scholarship for the ASU business school. "It’s an interesting opportunity I wouldn’t turn away from. I’ve been an active alumni member. I go back (to games) twice a year, and I’m usually at the spring game, although I didn’t make it (Saturday). I know Gene very well and of course (former coach) Frank Kush and I go back a long way.’’
Haynes became ASU’s third NFL Hall of Famer — joining John Henry Johnson and Charley Taylor — in 1997. He is also in the Sun Devil Hall of Fame and had his No. 40 ASU jersey retired in 2000.
After intercepting 17 passes as a two-time All-American with the Sun Devils, Haynes was the fifth overall pick by New England in the 1976 NFL draft. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls during his career and won a pair of Super Bowls with the Los Angeles Raiders.