Recently-hired special teams and tight ends coach Jay Graham resigned from his position at Alabama, the school confirmed on Wednesday. Graham, who was hired at the beginning of February, said in a statement that he is stepping aside for mental health reasons. He will "seek professional help immediately" and "spend more time with loved ones."
"While mental health issues are not new, they are often difficult to discuss, especially for coaches/athletes," part of the statement read. "I hope my voice inspires others that may be struggling to seek help."
Later in the afternoon on Wednesday during a Zoom call with reporters following practice, Alabama coach Nick Saban offered his full support to Graham and his decision to leave the program.
"Jay made a decision to do what he did, and we're gonna support him every way that we can," Saban said. "We certainly wish him and his family the very best."
Graham came to Alabama from Tennessee, his alma mater, where he spent one season with the Vols in his second coach stint with the program. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Graham had coaching stops at Texas A&M, Florida State and South Carolina among others. Saban said of Graham at the time of his hiring, "Jay is well respected across the country for his knowledge of the game and his ability to recruit. He has experience at numerous schools across the SEC footprint with a proven track record for his ability to teach the game and develop young men both on the field and in life."
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt was fired in January amid an NCAA investigation into potential recruiting violations. Additionally, assistant coaches Brian Niedermeyer and Shelton Felton, four members of the on-campus recruiting staff, the director and assistant director of player personnel as well as a football analyst were also among the nine people fired amid the fallout.