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Tradition tends to reign in college athletics, a sort of we’ve-always-done-it-this-way approach to getting things done.

Arizona State has shaken up the model a bit with its look-to-the-future developments and by hiring an athletic director who has a vastly different perspective.

Working on the professional side of sports, Anderson grew accustomed to the immediacy that comes from that results-driven world and has brought that with him to the Arizona State campus.

“One of the things that we’re doing is inserting the higher sense of urgency that you get at the pros because at the pros, you win or you get fired and go away,” Anderson said. “You don’t get eight or 10 years to prove your mettle; just being mediocre in this day and age isn’t OK. We’re bringing that same mentality here to mix it with real quality institutional knowledge from the people who are already here and have done a good job.”

It’s been an adjustment.

Anderson wanted to work at Arizona State because of the facilities and real estate plays that are in the works. But since arriving four months ago, it’s been a crash course on everything from a massive construction project and stadium renovation to scheduling games and overseeing smaller sports.

Unlike the NFL, where he had an eye-in-the-sky perspective, Anderson now has his hands deep in the mud - and loves every minute of it.

“It’s been a bit of careful what you ask for because, my goodness, all the things that go into it has just been incredibly interesting, challenging, engaging and very educational,” Anderson said. “I haven’t done this from the ground level before. I’ve sat at 35,000 feet with the senior NFL people and heard it from that level, but never in the captain seat with the ultimate responsibility, obviously with a lot of help, of making sure this thing goes right.”

He seems to be off to a good start.