Todd Graham informed his players,
via a text message to his assistant athletic director,
that he was leaving for Tempe.
The Arizona State job will be Graham’s fourth stop since
2006, as he coached at Rice in 2006, Tulsa from 2007-2010
and Pittsburgh in 2011. A vagabond, of sorts, there are
concerns about his history of job hopping.
“We’ll see how long he lasts here,” ESPN NCAA insider and
Pittsburgh alum Mark May told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns
Graham bouncing from job to job may not be a concern for
ASU as much as the fact that the coach went just 6-6 in
his lone season at Pitt, with his success only coming in
Conference USA. May said it was a credit to Graham’s
ability to coach, especially after the team lost so many
key players prior to Graham’s arrival.
However, the Pac-12 may be a step up in competition from
the Big East — and is certainly one from Conference USA –
– and now Graham joins Rich Rodriguez, Mike Leach and Jim
Mora as freshman coaches in the conference. While Graham
may not be a bad coach, his name doesn’t shine as bright
next to those names.
“This is probably somebody that has head coaching
experience and some success that would accept the job,”
May said. “That’s probably one thing they’re going to lean
on when they bring him out for the press conference.”
This hire may not win that press conference, but May
thinks Graham can win games in Tempe.
“He’s had success where he’s been, you know, if you can
win at Rice and you can win at Tulsa,” May said. ”
Regardless, no matter how underwhelming the hire may be to
some, it’s important to realize ASU’s options may have
dwindled considerably over the last couple weeks After
the failed pursuit of Kevin Sumlin was followed by the
debacle that was the June Jones situation, the school
simply may have run out of candidates.
“Most coaches that are worth their salt would not accept
this job, they wouldn’t even be interested in it,” May
said. “Why would you leave a job like [Pittsburgh] unless
you’re one of the guys that you’re just always looking for
the next job?”