Former Ravens coach Brian Billick named offensive analyst and advisor for Arizona State football program
Add yet another veteran of the NFL to the Arizona State football coaching staff.
The newest addition is that of Brian Billick. The head coach of the Super Bowl 35-winning Baltimore Ravens is joining Herm Edwards' staff as offensive analyst and advisor to the head coach.
It gives ASU quite the NFL pedigree with Edwards now having Billick to serve as an aide on the offensive side of the ball and Marvin Lewis advising defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce.
Billick has known Edwards for more than 40 years and he was on Lewis' staff with the Ravens. There are other ties too. ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson was his agent during his time in the NFL, just as he was for Edwards.
Billick said Anderson reached out to him a month or so ago. He plans to be here later this week.
"I'm really excited about the opportunity," Billick said, in a phone conversation just after his appointment was announced. "I've had some chances to come back to the college game in the past and it never seemed like the right opportunity, the right fit. This one really made sense for a lot of reasons."
Billick, 67, said his first job will to familiarize himself with the personnel so he'll be up to speed when the Sun Devils start spring football practice, which is expected to begin in late February.
Edwards, who just rounded out his fourth season heading the program, is excited about adding the NFL veteran to the mix.
"I have known Brian since the 1980s and he is a person whom I completely trust," Edwards said in a statement. "He has built one of the finest reputations the NFL has ever known, serving as a head coach, an assistant coach and as a respected television analyst. Brian has one of the brightest offensive minds in football today and that is especially why I hired him. He will serve as a valuable resource to our entire coaching staff, but specifically to our offensive staff."
Billick should be a good sounding board for offensive coordinator Zak Hill, who has served in that role at ASU for two seasons. While the Sun Devils' running game was reliable, the passing game struggled averaging just 194.7 yards per game, 11th in the Pac-12.
Billick is known for his offensive mind which was groomed under the tutelage of Bill Walsh, perhaps the most innovative offensive minds in the history of the NFL. Billick used the knowledge gleaned from Walsh to form one of the most famous offensive reputations in the modern-day NFL.
He had most recently worked as NFL Network analyst, something that gave him a different perspective and a role he thinks enhances what he brings to ASU.
"It gave me a whole new perspective that has been very beneficial," he said. "In working in broadcasting, it's a whole different perspective. You don't have a horse in the race so you can really focus in on breaking things down. Then in preparation for the draft you watch a lot of film of college players and analyzing them, so that kind of kept me looped into the college game."
Billick coached in the NFL and college football from 1977 to 2007, finishing his coaching career with the Ravens. He became the second head coach of the Ravens from 1999 until the 2007 season, during which time the Ravens went 85-67 over nine seasons. Billick made four playoff appearances while at the helm in Baltimore. In his first season with the Ravens, he led the team to its first non-losing record (8-8) in the franchise's young four-year history.
In 2001, the Ravens won the Super Bowl, defeating the New York Giants 34-7 thanks to a legendary defense. Under the tutelage of Billick and Lewis, Baltimore allowed an NFL-record low 165 points during the course of the season. They also led the league in turnover differential at plus-23. He was inducted into the Raven's Ring of Honor in 2019.
He broke into the NFL as an assistant coach with the Minnesota Vikings. In 1994 he was named offensive coordinator. The Vikings made the playoffs during six of the seven seasons (1992–1998) that Billick spent with the team, and set several offensive records in the process. In 1998, Minnesota set an NFL record for most points scored in a season (556) (which has since been broken by the 2007 Patriots and the 2013 Broncos), and set a team record with 41 touchdown passes.
His first full-time coaching job was with San Diego State, as the tight ends and receivers coach and recruiting coordinator for five seasons (1981–1985). After being named the offensive coordinator at Utah State, Billick improved the second-worst offense in Division I-A into a top-10 offense in only three seasons (1986–1988). Billick was hired as the tight ends coach at Stanford by Dennis Green, serving both roles for three seasons (1989–91). His work under Green put Billick in the Bill Walsh coaching tree.
He is an accomplished author with five published book titles, including "Bill Walsh: Finding the Winning Edge," "Developing An Offensive Game Plan," "More Than A Game," "Competitive Leadership," and "The Q Factor."
"I've part of teams that had the highest scoring offenses and also the lowest scoring defenses," he said. "So I've seen both sides. I'm looking forward to bringing that to ASU."
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Former Ravens coach Brian Billick named offensive analyst and advisor for Arizona State football program