Todd Graham

COACH TODD GRAHAM

 
2013 PAC-12 COACH OF THE YEAR

 

Coach Graham before UofA game

 

From the moment he was introduced as Arizona State University’s head football coach on December 14, 2011, Todd Graham made it clear he was a visionary. A throwback. A teacher who truly believes in the virtues of hard work, dedication and giving back. He had a plan to infuse the program with a culture that was about winning in all facets of a student-athlete’s life. Graham referred to it simply as, ‘The Sun Devil Way.’

 

“Our goal as a program is that we are going to first and foremost bring out the best in every single person’s character that’s involved in our program,” Graham said. “I’m not only interested in winning on Saturday... I want to win every day in every way. We will compete in the classroom as we compete on the field.

 

“On the field we’re going to be passionate and disciplined. Discipline is the key to winning football games. We’re going to be involved in the community. The greatest joy that I’ve had in my life is to learn to be a giver… I want our players to understand that family and character and bringing out the best and being a giver, that’s what I call unique character, is giving every day.”

 

Graham, the 2013 Pac-12 Coach of the Year, enters his sixth season at the helm of the Arizona State University football program. Under his leadership, Sun Devil football has reached levels of success not seen in more than 30 years. The Sun Devils have accounted for 39 wins - the most for a five-year span since winning 41 from 1978-82 – since Todd Graham has took over the helm. In that same time, ASU has achieved ranks in the top ten nationally in total points, interceptions, sacks per game, tackles for loss, turnover margin, and penalty yards per game. Over the past four season’s ASU has been one of the least penalized teams in the nation. Since Todd Graham’s arrival, the Sun Devils are averaging just 4.55 penalties per game for just over 37 yards per game – both totals ranking in the Top-10 nationally in that time.

Coach Graham_ND5

 

 

Since Todd Graham arrived in Tempe, ASU has received 45-All-Pac-12 Conference recognitions, and 39 All-Conference academic honors, solidifying a culture of winning on and off the field. Graham’s influence on ASU football has been just as significant off the field where his student-athletes have been trailblazers in the classroom. In the most recent Academic Progress Rate (APR) – a real-time look at a team’s academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete – the Sun Devil football program reached an all-time high 960, including a single-year APR of 990 for the 2014-15 roster, which is third in the Pac-12 for that year.

 

In 2015, ASU became the first school to have consecutive winners – quarterback Taylor Kelly in 2014 and quarterback Mike Bercovici in 2015 – of the Pac-12’s Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year, awarded to senior student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline. 

 

“Our team’s academic performance and the honors they have earned are a reflection of how hard they have worked in the classroom,” Graham said. “The fact we are accomplishing things that have never been done here is a testament to them as well as our academic support staff.”

 

Graham’s resolute commitment to help Sun Devil football be the best can also be seen in the recent reinvention of Sun Devil Stadium, a project which Graham has invested in both figuratively and literally. In September 2014, Graham and his wife Penni, and Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson and his wife Buffie, each gave $500,000 in personal funds to the Sun Devil Athletics Momentum fundraising campaign. The three phases of the $256 million project is set to be finished in 2018.

 

Coach TG and players

 

Graham was an all-state defensive back at North Mesquite High School and, after graduating in 1983, he played for East Central University in Ada, Okla., where he was a two-time NAIA All-American defensive back.Born Dec. 5 1964, Graham earned his Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Education from East Central University. He and his wife, Penni, have six children: Bo, Natalie, Hank, Haylee, Dakota and Michael Todd Jr.