In the span of about 15 years, a self-described "too short" and "too slow" linebacker at Chaparral High School has risen through the ranks to become the face of Sun Devil football.
Kenny Dillingham's Sun Devils have yet to win a game, but the work he and his staff have put in over the last nine months has made great strides in Activating the Valley and re-engaging a weary fanbase. Now with his debut season nearly here, it's time to see how this new era of Sun Devil football will begin.
On this episode, Kenny and I discuss the tough early work in revamping the program, his early football years, balancing the rigors of coaching with being a husband and father, the quarterback battle, and much more.
More episodes from "Speak of the Devils"
Episode 377 - Previewing the 2023 Territorial Cup
1:31:45The final showdown is here. After a look at the news and the tough loss to Oregon, we look ahead to the Duel in the Desert. We have an insightful conversation with ASU tight end Jalin Conyers (24:42) before going behind Wildcat lines with Arizona insider Adam Green of Wildcat Radio 2.0 (32:52) and diving into our game preview and predictions.
Episode 376 - Ray's out, Simone's back, & ASU vs. Oregon Preview
2:19:25There's no such thing as an ugly win, as the Devils got the job done in the Rose Bowl in an unorthodox way. After a dive into the news and a discussion on Ray Anderson's resignation, we are joined by program legend Jordan Simone for his unfiltered thoughts on the new era of Sun Devil athletics (14:09). We then review the weird and wild win over UCLA and talk to tight end/ quarterback? Jalin Conyers (1:01:48) and offensive lineman Cade Briggs (1:11:35). Then we go behind Duck lines with Oregon insider James Crepea of The Oregonian (1:17:41) before jumping into our game preview and predictions.
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Ray Anderson Resigns as ASU Athletic Director
26:03It's a day many have anticipated: Ray Anderson has resigned as ASU's athletic director. It was a tenure filled with some notable achievements, but marred with unmet expectations, controversy, and a major NCAA investigation. Joined by guest Hod Rabino, publisher of DevilsDigest.com, we break down the timing of the news, what the next AD needs to do, and some names to watch as the hiring process unfolds.
Episode 375 - YIKES & ASU vs. UCLA Preview
1:47:30Welp, that wasn't great. After a look at the latest news, including a notable departure to the portal, we dive into what the hell happened in the historic loss to Utah. Next up, we talk with ASU running back Kyson Brown on his freshman season (39:54) and wide receiver Jordyn Tyson on his return from injury (46:24). Then we turn the page and look ahead to another tough game. We go behind UCLA lines with Carlos (AKA @EquityBruin) of the No Truck Stops podcast (50:54) before diving in to our game preview.
Chatting with DE Clayton Smith & DL coach Vince Amey
11:57After Wednesday's practice, defensive end Clayton Smith discussed playing some offense, the pass rush, and thriving in a hostile atmosphere. Then, defensive line coach Vince Amey breaks down his unit's strong play, how theyv'e dealt with adversity, and facing Utah.
Episode 374 - Victory! and ASU vs. Utah Preview
1:45:06Finally... After weeks of knocking on the door, the Devils broke it down and got a win. With Ralph Amsden of ArizonaVarsity.com and the Pac-12 Apostles podcast pinch-hitting as co-host, we review the big win, talk to ASU tight end Ryan Morgan (40:43), and preview the Sun Devils' big road test at Utah. Then, we are joined by former ASU guard and current radio analyst Kyle Dodd to preview the ASU basketball season (1:18:25).
Episode 373 - Defensive Dominance & ASU vs. Washington State Preview
1:34:31Oh. So. Close. After a look at the news, we examine the defensive dominance and missed opportunities from ASU's loss to No. 5 Washington. We then talk to left tackle Isaia Glass (27:14) and wide receiver Gio Sanders (31:28) about the adversity faced by the offense and the plan to turn the close losses into wins. We then go behind Washington State lines with Michael Preston of CougCenter.com (36:05) before diving into our game preview and predictions.
Sitdown Series - TJ Semptimphelter
37:05It all starts between the pipes. As a goalie myself, I may be a little biased, but without a quality goaltender in net, a hockey team isn't going to win a lot of games. Fortunately for the Sun Devils, they have one of the nation's best. TJ Semptimphelter bucked family tradition by forgoing the football field for the hockey rink. After a breakout performance at the famous Beanpot Tournament while playing for Northeastern, TJ emerged as a hot commodity and transferred to Arizona State prior to last season. He immediately became the workhorse in goal, establishing himself as a foundational piece for the Sun Devils. That has continued into this season, where he has started each of ASU's first four games, winning all of them, including a season-opening win over No. 15 Merrimack. With the Sun Devils rising up in the polls, the future is bright in Tempe. On this episode, TJ and I discuss his hockey journey, how a love of sports headgear landed him in goal, the joy of annihilating the Arizona Wildcats, what Being the Tradition means to him, establishing ASU as a hockey school, and more.
Sitdown Series - JJ Van Niel
41:22It's funny what twists and turns life has in store sometimes. One day, you're in the middle of a successful career in finance. The next, you're leading a volleyball resurgence in the desert. JJ Van Niel was a SoCal guy, who dabbled a bit in volleyball as a kid before going on to play club hockey at USC. He then spent 12 years working in the financial sector before a chance encounter sent him on a path of coaching volleyball that has included stops with the US Women's National Team, the Olympic Games, Utah, and USC before being named Arizona State's head coach this past December. The turnaround has been immediate. After posting just one winning season in the last 7 years, Van Niel's Devils are currently 18-2 and ranked No. 17 in the nation following a massive straight sets win over No. 5 Oregon this past Sunday. In this episode, JJ and I discuss the hot start to the season, why he came to ASU, how he went from the hockey rink to the volleyball court, the best dishes from the team's "Chopped" competitions, and more.
Episode 372 - ASU vs. Washington Preview
1:32:17Football is back. The Sun Devils are returning from a much-needed bye week with a major test ahead. After a look at the latest news, we talk to ASU running back Cam Skattebo (20:56) and wide receiver Kaleb Black (24:19) before hitting the recruiting trails with 2024 tight end commit Jayden Fortier (28:07). Then we look ahead to the Battle in Seattle. We go behind Husky lines with Max Vrooman of UWDawgPound.com (37:02) for the latest on No. 5 Washington before diving into our game preview and predictions. Plus, catch an excerpt from the Sitdown Series episode with ASU head volleyball coach JJ Van Niel, who has guided the Sun Devils to a sizzling 18-2 start.