"It has been an honor and privilege to be the head coach at Arizona State the last six seasons," said Koetter on Sunday night following the team's banquet. He went on to thank former Arizona State President Dr. Lattie Coor and former Athletic Director Gene Smith who hired him, as well as Lisa Love and current Arizona State President Dr. Michael Crow. Koetter also acknowledged all his current and former assistants, as well as the all the support staff surrounding the football program such as strength and conditioning, equipment, academics, and Media Relations.
"I'd like to thank all the current and former players the last six years," said Koetter. "I got to meet some great former players…to the many many many loyal Sun Devil fans that support the Sun Devils through thick and thin, I really - appreciate what you did. I don't know what the future is gonna hold for me right now, but I do know I'm definitely better off for my experiences as being the head football coach at Arizona State. When I set out to be a head coach, I had two jobs in mind. I've been blessed because I got both of them. I wanted to be the coach at Boise State and I got that job. For some reason I had my sight on being the head coach at Arizona State, and I had that. How ironic is it that the day I'm getting fired at Arizona State, Boise State is going to the BCS (bowl). Pretty crazy how all that works out."
"My top priorities right now are to help my assistants find what they want in their future and spend time with my family, as I have certainly neglected them the last six years, and to be available to help my players in any possible way I can."
Koetter stated that he does have the "itch to coach again…I was born to coach." He quipped that he was going to joining Graduate Assistant Charlie Ragel who will be coaching at Scottsdale Chaparral High School next season. On a serious note, he did confirm that he will coach the ASU team in their bowl game (the location of it is set to be announced in the next seven days). "I'd think it would be foolish if myself and the coaches didn't finish out what we started," he explained. "We owe that to the players. If we don't coach the bowl game – who is? I don't know if Lisa is gonna coach it. After yesterday and a huge win over Arizona, I would love another shot at coaching this team. This team has laid it on the line for me, and I'd be glad to go with them to a football game one more time."
When asked if he had any regrets about any of his actions during his Sun Devil tenure, he replied: "Everybody has regrets. You learn things along the way. If you weren't growing you weren't moving forward. I'm not gonna elaborate on any of that, but I've grown a whole lot as a person this last six years."
Koetter was let go despite a winning record and a bowl berth – accomplishments that have taken place three years in succession. However, he wasn't surprised by Love's decision. "Lisa and President Crowe have a job to do, just like I have a job to do," he commented. "There have been times where I had to fire players, and the players didn't necessarily agree with what I had to say to them."
"I said in the banquet today, that there comes that awkward moment where everybody has to meet the new coach for the first time. It will come to you folks (the media) the next few weeks. When you meet that new coach, just make sure that the first thing that you say to them in that awkward moment isn't ‘Just beat U of A – that's all you have to do to keep everybody happy.' Because we know that's not true."
Koetter Era Comes to an End
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