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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Since: Oct 4, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:13 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Now the state of Arizona will have two college head coaches from the Big East and who will get run over in a real football conference.

Since: Mar 17, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

This kid is in high school and is going to have twins?? And people talk about West Virginia. Come on now ever hear of a condom?


 It wasn't his sister he got pregnant, now thats more West Virginia.    &n

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:07 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Wow, a mistake hire by Pitt last year, and a worse mistake hire by ASU.
I'm not sure why anywone would want the ASU job after the June Jones, "now you have it, now you don't" incident, but this is the only typeof guy that would consider it, a self serving, get what I can get, type of guy.
He'll be gone in 4 years and ASU will never be in the top half of the PAC-12, or PAC-26 or whatever size that Conference ends up being!  

Since: Oct 29, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:01 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

I thought this guy's background was defense and that Malzahn and Blakenship ran the offense at Tulsa? Did Pittsburgh buy the argument that this was guy was responsible for Tulsa being #1 and #2 in offense while he was head coach??

Since: Oct 18, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:01 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Go you piece of scum.

Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:44 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

What a fake poor excuse for a man Graham is, from his high octane offense (LOL) to his all me attitude.  I have never seen a college coach pass so much of the blame to his players, and not to himself or his staff.  He is a joke and I am glad he is gone.  The unfortunate thing is the top recruits that Pitt had will more than likely look elsewhere.  Graham is not in the business for the players , he is in it fom himself.  What a spineless little punk a$$ biatch.  Sal Sunseri should find him and kick has a$$ for the treatment of his son.  No, I do not feel Tino is a top QB, but he was Grahams scapegoat.  High Octane my butt... 

Since: Mar 4, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:41 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Forth, this likely will get the Pitt Athletic Director fired especially with the Graham hiring following the hiring of a coach that got arrested and was fired before even moving in to his office at Pitt

It actually should be fourth but the AD, Pederson, should be fired anyway.  He should have been fired last year. 

I am a Penn State fan who really coudn't care less about Pitt.  It is just discusting

Discusting?  Judging by your spelling, not only are you a Penn St. fan but a Penn St. grad.

Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:40 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Apr 17, 2009
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

Ghelba...yea, I guess Rushel never has. But, people don't care about small issues like twins, especially if you can score touchdowns...haha. I think Shell would excel in WVU's offense. He's not as fast as Austin, but he is an outstanding in between the tackles back.

Since: Mar 8, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 3:38 pm

Todd Graham leaving Pittsburgh for Arizona State

In all seriousness, I would hope Pitt consider Doc Holliday at Marshall for the job, he deserves a better shot than Marshall. He is also GREAT at recruiting and opens up Florida for anyone.
Doc would have had a much better job (than Marshall or Pitt) had he stuck it out another year at WVU where he truly wanted to be.  He was brought back to West Virginia to eventually take the HC job but for one reason or another thought the Marshall gig was a step up.  He is one coach I have always liked.

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