Sun Devils find their coach, hire Todd Graham

Dec 14, 2011, 5:25 PM | Updated: 8:42 pm

Arizona State’s search for a new football coach finally
came to an end Wednesday, as multiple reports say
Pittsburgh coach Todd Graham is heading to Tempe.

“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. Energy towards
instilling discipline, leadership and in recruiting.
Energy towards representing our brand in every facet of
the program,” ASU VP of Athletics Lisa Love said in a
statement. “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. For
the first time in his career, he will be taking over a
program with a strong nucleus at the beginning. We are
excited to watch Coach Graham take over a very well-
positioned program and elevate it to the next level.”

Graham, 47, has a career mark of 49-29 after stints at
Rice, Tulsa and Pittsburgh. He went 6-6 in his lone year
at Pitt, but the fact that he’s leaving for another job so
soon is a concern to some.

However, it’s not one the school shares.

“What we sought in a football coach was someone who would
be in it for the long term at Arizona State, who would
build and guide a program that would be competitive in the
Pac-12 and on a national level year after year after year,
who would communicate and connect with the community, and
represent our University with honor. In Todd Graham we
have that person,” said ASU President Dr. Michael Crow.

This will be Graham’s fourth coaching stop since 2006,
though the hire should alleviate the angst many ASU fans
felt during the pursuit of a coach, which saw names like
Kevin Sumlin and June Jones linked to the job.

Though Graham is not a “big name” in the traditional
sense, he has a trio of 10-win seasons on his resume.

It has been reported that Graham will be bringing much of
his staff from Pittsburgh to Tempe, including his
offensive and defensive coordinators. That could be why Noel Mazzone
left for a job at UCLA.

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