Todd Graham is a climber and, for the second time in his coaching career, has left a school for a better job after just one season. Hired at Pitt on January 10, Graham is moving to Arizona State, his fourth head coaching position since 2006. Graham’s rise from Texas high schools to West Virginia to Tulsa to Rice to Tulsa to Pitt and now to Arizona State since 2000 has been meteoric. Ignore the kids left in his wake.
For Arizona State: It’s not an awful choice, assuming he plans to settle down. ASU had broken off negotiations with Sumlin. They pulled back from a seemingly done deal with June Jones because of booster pressure. They did not seem willing to consider coordinator candidates, such as Tennessee DC Justin Wilcox. AD Lisa Love was in the weeds. The Sun Devils got a coach, who runs a high-tempo spread offense that can work in the Pac 12 and who has a reasonable track record of success. It’s a poor man’s version of the Rodriguez or Leach hire they should have made.
For Graham: ASU is a better job. It’s easier to recruit there. The weather’s better. He will get paid more. He would have had to rebuild his staff anyway after Rich Rodriguez raided it. He can explain to recruits why he has pulled a Lane Kiffin, twice.
For Pittsburgh: You had the chance in 2004. You had the chance twice in 2010. You now have another chance in 2011. Hire Tom Bradley.
“I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State,” Graham said. “Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham.”
[Photo via Getty]