Todd Graham Fired by Arizona State After 6 Seasons; Will Coach Bowl Game

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistNovember 26, 2017

HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 27:  Head coach Todd Graham of the Arizona Sun Devils speaks to the media during PAC12 Media Days on July 27, 2017 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Arizona State fired head coach Todd Graham on Sunday, though "Graham and his staff will remain with the program through their bowl appearance." Vice president of university athletics Ray Anderson also announced the search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

DevilsDigest.com and Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman first reported the news.

"When evaluating our head coaches, we have been very clear in our four-prong approach: integrity, academics, performance and fan affinity advancement," Anderson said in the news release.

"From the moment he arrived in Tempe, Todd helped change the culture and emphasized the student in student-athlete here at Arizona State, elevating the program to unprecedented heights in the classroom and strong citizenship across the board."

The writing was on the wall. The Sun Devils posted consecutive losing seasons in 2015 and 2016, going 11-14. And for the first time in four years, the school didn't extend his contract by a year this offseason.

As Greg Moore of AZCentral.com wrote: "[ASU President Michael] Crow said he wanted the football program to compete with some of the best schools in the nation. Anderson said he wanted evidence that any improvement was sustainable and not just a blip."

The pair clearly felt Graham didn't achieve those goals in 2017, and the team's 7-5 record wasn't enough to save his job.

It's a disappointing end to a once bright tenure for the head coach, who led the program to four bowl games in his first four seasons and 10-win campaigns in 2013 and 2014. The Sun Devils also won the Pac-12 South in 2013, though they were blown out by Stanford in the conference title game.

Graham was 46-31 with the Sun Devils. He also had previous coaching stints with Rice (7-6), Tulsa (36-17) and Pitt (6-6).

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