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
 
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 8, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:05 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Well Pitt you know how it feels now to have someone do you wrong.  Remember you are getting it all back for what you said about West Virginia when it happened to us



Since: Feb 8, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 6:03 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

And a wife beater.



Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:49 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

They should just hire Michael Haywood back. He seemed like a nice guy.



Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:42 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Coach Graham is following the model set by his school.  He is following the money, with no concern about the players and fans.  He is going to a more perceived to be a more prestigious conference (outside of tobacco road and former NC alum, the ACC has a very limited reputation in football). To be loyal apparently is no longer a value in sports. To be true to your word seems to have even less.  What a sad state of affairs for football.




Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:40 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

So, I take it you are glad he left?



Since: Sep 11, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:35 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Bad guy; dishonest,, two faced; opportunist; disloyal.

And those are the best thinsg I can say about him. 



Since: Jul 13, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:32 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

So we hired a defensive guy who's teams all suck on defense? DAYUM!!!



Since: Feb 23, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:30 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Ouch!



Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:28 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

"A real football program" that lost to Arizona State



Since: Oct 10, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Good hire.


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