Todd Graham is the luckiest man on Earth.
Less than one year after realizing his dream of being the head coach at "one of the finest programs in the country," he has achieved another dream by becoming the head coach at Arizona State University, according to the team's website.
Please note the sarcasm.
In an early message to fans, Graham promised the fans of Pittsburgh that he'd build a championship program, but the only thing he managed to do in his one and only year was completely fail on all levels as a head coach.
Throw your quarterback under the bus? Check.
Fail to adapt your system to fit the talent you have? Check.
Manage to blow several late leads, including a three-TD lead on the road in Iowa? Check.
Fail to win a weak Big East conference? Check.
Leave town like a damn coward without even facing your now-former players? Check.
That's right, the man of high moral values, who wanted his players to do the right thing, sent a text message to an assistant coach to be redistributed to the players. He didn't even have the balls to face the players.
It's not like Graham hasn't done this before. Days after receiving a contract extension and pay raise from Rice, he bolted for Conference USA-rival Tulsa. He only coached Rice for one year. He learned from the best. He was an assistant for another backstabbing traitor, Rich Rodriguez in 2001 and 2002. RichRod bailed on WVU to become the head coach at Michigan.
I want to know how much it'll cost PAT Transit to repaint all the buses with this snake oil salesman's face on it.
If you're ASU, how could you even take this guy seriously as a candidate? Barely went .500 in a completely weak Big East Conference. Willing to bail on you after less than one season. That's right, this scumbag won't even coach Pitt in the Compass Bowl.
I found this quote from ASU president Dr. Michael Crow to be rather amusing. "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."
If one year is your idea of long term, something is wrong with your head.
What exactly has Graham done to make him a worthy hire in the first place? Five years in Conference USA and he could never win that league. One year in the Big East and he couldn't win that either, even WITH all the teams trying their hardest to lose it.
Graham was supposed to be out on the recruiting trail bringing in players for Pitt, but at the same time, he was plotting his departure from the school. Backup Trey Anderson said it well. "I go take a nap and wake up to find out my head coach is gone."
Quite the vanishing act, but I'm sure now that he's found his dream job at ASU, he'll settle in for the long haul.
So what happens now? Pitt has had Dave Wannstedt, Phil Bennett (interim coach for last year's BBVA Compass Bowl), Mike Haywood, Todd Graham and now interim head coach Keith Patterson, who will lead the squad into THIS year's BBVA Compass Bowl. That's technically five head coaches in the last 12 months.
What kind of message does that send to recruits? Chris Peak from Panther Lair has reported some Pitt recruits remain committed, including quarterback Chad Voytik. Still, Pitt fans have to be nervous until letter of intent day arrives and these guys officially sign the dotted line.
Who does Pitt hire at this point to coach the team? You need to find a guy that truly is committed to the long term, regardless of whether the guy has previous head coaching experience or not. Ideally, you find a guy who has ties to the local area and won't go bolting for the next BCS job to open up.
Before such a decision is made, you need to look at why Pitt is in this situation to begin with. Maybe if Steve Pederson made better choices than Mike Haywood and Todd Graham, Pitt would not be looking once again for a head coach so soon.
How does Pederson survive as athletic director in the face of this? He made these hires and their failures on so many levels have brought a lot of shame to the Pitt program. Pederson needs to be fired.
I may be anything but a Pitt fan, but their fans deserve so much better than this.
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