TEMPE, Ariz. — John Wrenn, the popular veteran of the Arizona State University football program staff, will retire from his full-time position as Assistant Athletics Director of Football Operations and High School Relations, third-year Sun Devil head Coach Todd Graham announced Wednesday. Wrenn served two seasons as Assistant Athletics Director of Football Operations and High School Relations under Graham. Prior to that Wrenn served in the same capacity under previous Sun Devil Head Coach Dennis Erickson.
“I am forever indebted to John Wrenn for his counsel, direction and vast institutional knowledge during my transition to ASU,” Graham says. “When I arrived John was tremendous in helping me learn the landscape of the football program at ASU. I leaned on John heavily for advice and guidance throughout my tenure here and he never steered me the wrong way. He was the single-most important facilitator in getting us back to Camp Tontozona and he spearheaded the football offices Wall of History project. His valuable insight, smile and contagious personality were valuable assets around the entire athletic department. John exemplified the essence of ’Speaking Victory’ each and every day.”
“I’d like to thank the Sun Devil nation and all of the athletic programs for the treatment and the love they showed me at ASU,” says Wrenn, who will live part-time in Summerlin, Nev., near his family. “ASU was a tremendous place to work and I enjoyed every minute of it. From the President to the Athletics Directors and through the entire university there are great people. I was very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work for such a class institution. I promised my family when I reached the age for retirement that I would spend more time with them, which includes my grandchildren. I want to enjoy them and be there for them and that is what I am going to do."
Wrenn also served as running backs coach and assistant special teams coach in 2006 for former head coach Dirk Koetter.
Prior to joining the staff at ASU, Wrenn compiled an impressive 223-46 won-loss record in 23 years of high school coaching, both at Hamilton High School and in the state of Illinois. He earned state Coach-of-the-Year accolades five times, three times in Arizona (1999, 2003 and 2004) and twice in Illinois. He earned regional Coach-of-the-Year honors 15 times and was Chicago-area Coach-of-the-Year on four occasions.
Wrenn’s teams competed in the state playoffs 19 times, winning three state championships. His squads were runners-up twice, semi-finalists three times and quarter-finalists four times. Wrenn won 16 Conference/Region Championships.
At Hamilton High, Wrenn’s team posted a 91-11 eight-year record and won two state championships. Twice more his teams made it to the state championship game. His Hamilton resume also includes one state semi-finalist team and two quarter-finalist teams. Hamilton won the region championships five times (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005).
It was at Hamilton High where Wrenn took a youthful Terrell Suggs under his wing and became his mentor. One of the NFL’s biggest stars, Suggs continually thanks Wrenn for his successes. Suggs is the most decorated Sun Devil football player in history, winning the Lombardi Award, The Ted Hendricks Award, the Bronko Nagursky Trophy and The Morris Trophy in 2002. He was a unanimous All-American in 2002 and was the Pac-12 Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year.
At Perry High, Wrenn provided overall leadership, supervision and coordination of all sports programs. He served as the interim Athletics Director there when the school opened in 2007. In 2011, Wrenn had the football field at Perry High School named after him.
As Athletic Director at Hamilton High, Wrenn hired all coaches, helped develop all athletic facilities and supervised all athletic-related activities. He also served as the Department Head for Physical Education.
Wrenn’s state of Illinois career included a 10-year stint as head football coach at Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Illinois. His teams there compiled a 99-18 record, including one state championship, nine conference championships, nine state playoff appearances, two state semi-finalists and two quarter-finalists. Wrenn also served as the Assistant Athletic Director at Homewood-Flossmoor in 1995-96.
In 1985-86, Wrenn was the wide receivers coach under Mike White at the University of Illinois. The Fighting Illini ranked in the nation’s top 10 in passing that year and played in the 1985 Peach Bowl.
From 1982-84, Wrenn was the head football coach at West Aurora High School in Aurora, Ill. There, his teams posted a two-year record of 18-11 and won two conference championships and two state playoff berths.
Before a one-year stint at a private company in 1981-82, Wrenn was the head football coach at East Aurora High School for two seasons (1979-81) and posted a 14-5 record, one conference championship and one state playoff appearance.
From 1977-79, Wrenn was an assistant football coach at West Aurora High and served in the same capacity between 1974-77 at Elgin Larkin High School in Elgin, Illinois.
As a player Wrenn was the Most Valuable Player for Western Illinois University in 1972. He lettered there between 1970 and 1973, captaining the teams in 1971 and 1972. He was a Division II All-American and still holds the school career interceptions record with 18. He is a member of the Western Illinois athletic Hall of Fame and was a Blue Key National Honor Society member.