Tempe, Arizona - Arizona State University head football coach Herm Edwards today announced that Marvin Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals' all-time leader in wins, will join the Sun Devil football staff as special advisor to Sun Devil Football.
"Marvin Lewis is one of the most respected minds in our game," said Edwards. "Whether as the winningest coach in the franchise history of the Cincinnati Bengals, or the architect of one the greatest defenses in NFL history, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, Marvin has succeeded everywhere he has been and he has done it the right way. His passion for teaching will be an incredible benefit not only for our coaches, but also for the young men we are responsible for as students and athletes."
"I've known Herman for almost 30 years and the opportunity to come and assist him and his coaches win football games is very exciting and appealing," said Lewis "Arizona State and Tempe have always been special to me. When I was a young coach I came to visit (ASU defensive coaches) Willie Shaw and Bob Padilla back in 1983. Dirk Koetter, who is one of my closest friends, was the head coach there, Ray Anderson, who I've known for more than 20 years, used to represent me, and my daughter (Whitney) went to school there.
"I envision just being another set of eyes, another set of ears, and doing anything I can to help the coaches. I was really impressed with the staff and what they accomplished after they hit the ground running last season. ASU is a great university and is known for having an outstanding athletic program that has always been able to attract top athletes from around the country and I look forward to doing all I can to help the program."
In addition to setting the Bengals' franchise record for career wins (131), Lewis also set the club's head coaching standards for longest tenure (16 seasons), playoff appearances (seven), consecutive playoff appearances (five) and division titles (four). The seven playoff berths the Bengals achieved with Lewis equaled the number the club had in the 35 seasons prior to his arrival.
Under Lewis, the Bengals were one of only four NFL teams to reach the playoffs every year from 2011-15. The 2015 squad's 12-4 record tied the best regular season mark in club annals.
Lewis was the consensus choice for NFL Coach of the Year in 2009, when the Bengals won the AFC North Division while sweeping all six division games. The Bengals also were AFC North champions under Lewis in 2005, '13 and '15.
Named the ninth head coach in Bengals history on Jan. 14, 2003, Lewis started quickly as his 2003 club finished 8-8, six games better than the 2002 club, which represented the biggest improvement in the NFL.
Lewis coached 21 Pro Bowl players during his time in Cincinnati, with nine of those players earning the honor multiple times. In 2018, defensive tackle Geno Atkins earned his seventh Pro Bowl nod, the most ever by a Bengals defensive player.
Lewis came to the Bengals with credentials as a record-setting NFL defensive coordinator, having played a huge role in a championship season. His six seasons (1996-2001) as Baltimore Ravens coordinator included a Super Bowl victory in 2000, when his defense set the NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game campaign (165). That unit clipped 22 points off the previous mark, an achievement that always has the 2000 Ravens as an entry in discussions regarding the best NFL defensive units of all time.
In 2002, the season before he joined the Bengals, Lewis led the Washington Redskins to a No. 5 NFL defensive ranking, serving as assistant head coach as well as defensive coordinator.
Lewis had his first NFL assignment from 1992-95, as linebackers coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He aided the development of four Pro Bowl players — Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Levon Kirkland and Greg Lloyd. Greene has since been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Lewis developed an impressive "coaching tree" during his Bengals tenure. Five of his former assistants have become NFL head coaches. The list includes former Bengals offensive coordinators Jay Gruden (head coach of the Washington Redskins since 2014) and Hue Jackson (Cleveland Browns, 2016-18), former defensive coordinators Leslie Frazier (Minnesota Vikings 2010-13) and Mike Zimmer (head coach of the Minnesota Vikings since 2014), and former defensive backs coach Vance Joseph (Denver Broncos 2017-18).
Lewis began his coaching career as linebackers coach at his alma mater Idaho State from 1981-84. ISU's team finished 12-1 in Lewis' first season there and won the NCAA Division 1-AA championship. Lewis played LB at Idaho State, earning All-Big Sky Conference honors for three consecutive years (1978-80). He also saw action at quarterback and free safety during his college career. He received his bachelor's degree in physical education from Idaho State in 1981, and earned his master's in athletic administration in '82. He was inducted into Idaho State's Hall of Fame in 2001.
Born Sept. 23, 1958, Lewis attended Fort Cherry High School in McDonald, Pa. (near Pittsburgh), where he was an all-conference quarterback and safety. He also earned high school letters in wrestling and baseball. He and his wife, Peggy, have a daughter, Whitney, and a son, Marcus.