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December 14, 2011

Arizona State expected to hire Graham

Todd Graham is expected to leave Pitt to become Arizona State's next head coach according to sources close to both programs.

An ASU spokesperson said the school had nothing to announce publicly as of late Wednesday morning, but a school athletic department source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Graham would be named the coach.

Multiple media outlets, including Yahoo! Sports national college football writer Pat Forde, have reported that Graham alerted Pitt players of his intentions via text message earlier in the day.

Graham, 47, coached just one season at Pitt, which will now be searching for its third head coach in less than a year.

Pitt went 6-6 this season and finished tied for fourth in the Big East. After a 2-0 start, the Panthers went 4-6 to end the season and did not win consecutive games.

Prior to arriving at Pitt, Graham spent four years as head coach at Tulsa, where he went 36-17 including 22-12 in league play in C-USA.

Graham has his roots on the defensive side of the ball, but after inheriting a Tulsa program on the rise from Steve Kragthorpe, it was on offense where the Golden Hurricanes truly excelled during his tenure.

Tulsa won the C-USA west division three of Graham's four years, partly due to the services of offensive minds Gus Malzahn and Herb Hand.

Graham got his first head coaching opportunity at Rice in 2006, where he went 7-6 in just one season.

In 2001-02, Graham was a defensive assistant at West Virginia under then-coach Rich Rodriguez, becoming co-defensive coordinator for the first time in his second year at the school. Rodriguez recently accepted the head coaching job at Arizona.

Graham then became the Tulsa defensive coordinator in from 2003-05.

Texas high school football is where Graham has his deepest roots, coaching a dozen years at the level in the state, starting in his hometown of Mesquite and concluding his prep career at Allen High School in 2000.


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