Blog Entry

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:45 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 11:23 pm
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Posted by Chip Patterson

Sometimes the coaching carousel spins slowly, and other times the college football world is blindsided by a surprise hire in the winter months. The news of Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham departing to accept the vacant job at Arizona State came from the carousel's rapid spin cycle.

Graham's decision to leave Pittsburgh happened so quickly he did not take the time to tell his team in person, instead he sent them a text as he left for Tempe for Wednesday's announcement. After the Sun Devils' negotiations with SMU head coach June Jones reportedly broke down in the final moments, the school was happy to seal the deal quickly with Graham.

 "Criteria for our head coach was established, and the word that was at the forefront of discussions was `energy'... energy towards promoting our program in the community and with former players," Arizona State athletic director Lisa Love said in a statement. "Energy towards instilling discipline, leadership and in recruiting. Energy towards representing our brand in every facet of the program. In Todd, we have not only hired a young and sitting head coach, but one with a history of success on the field and in hiring top-notch assistant coaches."

Graham's arrival at Arizona State is their answer to recent Pac-12 additions like Mike Leach at Washington State and Rich Rodriguez at in-state rival Arizona. But as Graham promised to move the ball down the field in his first day as head coach, he used the same motto he relied on when introducing himself to Pittsburgh fans.

 "Obviously, our offense is going to be high octane, it's going to be quick-strike, explosive," said Graham, 49-29 in six years as head coach. "Our whole deal is about explosive plays. I like to see the ball thrown down the field."

That "high-octane" phrase was one Graham pounded so hard into the mind of Pittsburgh fans, he had it plastered on the newly redesigned website for "high-octane Pitt football." Needless to say, the Panthers' fans and administration are not pleased that Graham did not stick around to deliver on his high-octane promises.  Players from the current Pittsburgh roster were furious, and took to Twitter to vent their frustrations through social media.  The administration showed their disappointment in a more traditional manner with a press release.

 "Obviously this is not the way we would have expected Mr. Graham to handle any possible departure," Pitt executive vice chancellor and general counsel Jerry Cochran said. "Beyond normal expectations with respect to professional conduct, he has failed to comply with the terms of his contract."

The only "high-octane" aspect of Graham's offense this season was watching quarterback Tino Sunseri run for his life as the Panthers allowed an FBS-high 57 sacks during the regular season. Pittsburgh ranked in the bottom half of the Big East in passing and scoring offense. The one offensive highlight from the Panthers' first season under Graham was the explosion of running back Ray Graham, who averaged over 130 yards per game before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

The 6-6 Panthers will be coached by defensive coordinator Keith Patterson against SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 7.  Click here to check out the latest on the Panthers and Mustangs at the BBVA Compass Bowl Pregame

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Comments

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:43 am
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

The fact is that Graham is a hypocrate like so many other hypocrates that we all have dealings with on a daily basis.  I have been actively involved in many different churches over the course of my life and men like Graham that spoke incessantly about integrity and morality and commitment would invariably be lacking every one of the traits they gave lip service to valuing. My reluctance to find a religious home base now is in part my digust with endless dealings with such hypocrates... so I guess he is no different than a lot of people in that regard. 

The biggest problem I have with Graham is that he was so cynical as to be the keynote speaker for a leadership coaching and recruiting dinner(promoting Pitt), espousing loyalty, integrity, the need to be morally strong and honor your commitments ... all the while knowing that he would be leaving for ASU in a matter of hours.  It is... well, unbelievable.  Based on his past behavior it is absolutely consistent.


Ruthless narcisscists are incapable of seeing anything wrong in their own bad behavior.  I have no doubt that Todd and his wife think they are entitled to do whatever they want.  Integrity, honor, morality mean nothing to people that put their own ego gratification ahead of their obligations and commitments to others.

Graham is who he is , but what about ASU?  The most disappointing aspect of all of this is the lack of decency on the part of Lisa Love to even pick up the phone to inform Steve Pederson of their intentions.  They certainly have every legal right to do whatever they want, but it is absolutely gutless and classless not to even make a phone call, however awkward and uncomfortable.  If you are gonna steal someone's coach, the least you can do is give them a heads up.  As an AD, she had to know how devastating that would be to Pitt's recruiting, and to the stability of their program since Graham had only been there one year.  To make no overtures and do nothing is simply uncalled for.  The NCAA likes to penaluzw program for recruiting violations involving players and agents, what about coaches and AD's?  Coaches generally aren't underprivelged athletes.  Graham was makeing over 2mil a year at Pitt.   His family wasn't starving and didn't need a better job to survive.


A pox on both their houses.     



Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:43 am
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

The fact is that Graham is a hypocrate like so many other hypocrates that we all have dealings with on a daily basis.  I have been actively involved in many different churches over the course of my life and men like Graham that spoke incessantly about integrity and morality and commitment would invariably be lacking every one of the traits they gave lip service to valuing. My reluctance to find a religious home base now is in part my digust with endless dealings with such hypocrates... so I guess he is no different than a lot of people in that regard. 

The biggest problem I have with Graham is that he was so cynical as to be the keynote speaker for a leadership coaching and recruiting dinner(promoting Pitt), espousing loyalty, integrity, the need to be morally strong and honor your commitments ... all the while knowing that he would be leaving for ASU in a matter of hours.  It is... well, unbelievable.  Based on his past behavior it is absolutely consistent.


Ruthless narcisscists are incapable of seeing anything wrong in their own bad behavior.  I have no doubt that Todd and his wife think they are entitled to do whatever they want.  Integrity, honor, morality mean nothing to people that put their own ego gratification ahead of their obligations and commitments to others.

Graham is who he is , but what about ASU?  The most disappointing aspect of all of this is the lack of decency on the part of Lisa Love to even pick up the phone to inform Steve Pederson of their intentions.  They certainly have every legal right to do whatever they want, but it is absolutely gutless and classless not to even make a phone call, however awkward and uncomfortable.  If you are gonna steal someone's coach, the least you can do is give them a heads up.  As an AD, she had to know how devastating that would be to Pitt's recruiting, and to the stability of their program since Graham had only been there one year.  To make no overtures and do nothing is simply uncalled for.  The NCAA likes to penaluzw program for recruiting violations involving players and agents, what about coaches and AD's?  Coaches generally aren't underprivelged athletes.  Graham was makeing over 2mil a year at Pitt.   His family wasn't starving and didn't need a better job to survive.


A pox on both their houses.     



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: December 15, 2011 11:22 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

I think there's more opportunity at ASU for Graham than at Pitt; but I haven't been to Pitt.   No matter your opinion of Graham, ASU seems to be stuck in a land of mediocrity.    Too many good coaches have shown you can win easily at ASU and your main hurdle is that little school called USC.   The South is there for the taking but not sure it's Graham - but he hasn't been anywhere long enough to tell how well he can recruit, how well he can build a program, etc.



Since: Dec 15, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:25 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

why did arizona hire bobby petrino?



Since: Dec 15, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

I understand everyones reasoning for its a "job" and he has "do whats best for his family" .....but tell me this, if youre making a million a year why uproot youre family and break the trust and bond you have with your players and program to go make 1.5 million( and i dont know the details of his contract). Its not like leaving a job making 30K a year for a job making 60K a year to take better care of your family. Your making BIG money and you can care for your family beyond any standard with that.  But this society we live is all about money and having bigger and better things than anyone else. Yes he has every right to leave just like the program has every right to fire him. The grass isnt always greener on the other side.




Since: Mar 13, 2009
Posted on: December 15, 2011 4:17 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

andyh80 - man get over Rich Rod already. How many years has it been and didn't you get your revenge when he went to Michigan and was run out of town? Grow Up, things change in life or maybe you haven't noticed.


Buffalo Bob
Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:51 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Aug 26, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:09 pm
 

Todd Graham BOLTS Pittsburgh for "DREAM JOB"

Todd Graham?  WTF are you doing ASU? This hire is no different than the Sendeck hire... A guy who couldn’t compete in his own conference so they bolt across the country bringing their inferior resumes and mediocre records out West. If Graham couldn’t compete in an awful conference like the Big East, what the hell is he going to do out here? LOSE!! The reason he bolted from Pitt NOW is because he knows after SMU beats Pitt down in the Compass Bowl, he won’t get any job offers.

Ironically enough, Graham stated at his press conference that ASU was his “dream job” and Phoenix was his family’s “dream city to live” and used his in-laws Arizona residency as further justification for the immediate jump to the PAC 12.

How can this guy go into a potential recruit’s homes and make promises about his new program when he didn’t even have the courtesy and respect to officially notify his former Pitt players of his decision to leave.

Graham is nothing more than mercenary coach who accepts jobs based on MONEY alone, not the program. In the case of ASU, they offered him an opportunity he couldn’t refuse; a paid retirement and relocation to the Valley.  Oh btw, we also need you to coach the football team for 6 months out of the year.  It’s a win-win situation for Graham regardless the success of ASU because he basically has 2 years to be mediocre. Knowing the history of ASU’s athletic department, he’ll get a year extension for each win over the 6-6 barometer established by Erickson. 

Regardless of what Lisa Love or Michael Crow tells the public, they were definitely in panic mode.  Both their speeches were total lies proclaiming they were “diligent” and “thorough” in their search.  REALLY? They hired a firm to search for the next coach.  It was this same diligence that led to the June Jones fiasco which the administration denies ever having made any offers.

 I can guarantee after this move, Lisa Love won’t get any more job offers after she's fired THIS year. If ASU offered him more than $1.5 million/yr, then Crow needs to fly away too.  The saga is far from over for ASU and Lisa Love.  Herb Sendeck’s future also lies in the balance as his Sun Devil basketball team is absolutely putrid.  They have a 4-5 record with perhaps one of the easiest schedules in the country which is reflected in their RPI.

At any rate, I hope Graham has another “dream job” and location earmarked because once this team shows no signs of improvement from last year, he’s out the door.




Since: Nov 11, 2011
Posted on: December 15, 2011 2:06 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Todd Graham is college football's example of upward failure. He has no morals and leaves one job as soon as there is a sniff of another one. He record is passable enough to get interest from another college. Now that he is at ASU he is at the top of the chain with no where else to go. Expect him to fail and be fired within 3 years.





Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: December 15, 2011 1:53 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

The Arizona/Arizona St. game next year will be called the "Coach Scumbag Bowl."


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