Graham focused on winning, returning tradition to ASU

slider todd_graham_asuNew Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham said all the right things when he was introduced to the media for the first time Wednesday night.

A day later, the former Pitt coach re-iterated many of the same promises and goals he made clear the night before.

In the weeks leading up to Graham being hired, several former Sun Devil players publicly came forward to the ASU administration and asked the football program re-explore holding pre-season workouts just outside Payson at Camp Tontozona. 

“I’m open to look and discuss things,” Graham explained to Brad Cesmat on “Big Guy on Sports” Thursday afternoon. “The thing that I’m big on is I think it’s very important that you have respect for the traditions of the program and that we carry on those traditions. That’s something we’re going to take a look at…I’m big on embracing the past.”

Graham has been in the national spotlight since word of the hiring was leaked on Twitter Wednesday morning for never addressing his players at Pitt, only texting them before boarding a plane for Phoenix. 

Todd Graham on ‘Big Guy on Sports’

“It was a tough situation,” Graham told Cesmat. “I communicated the only way (I had) to communicate. I talked to a couple of my formers players on the phone and when I get back to Pittsburgh I intend to catch up…you never want to leave a situation like that.

Some Sun Devil players Tweeted about their excitement as to where the program is headed after meeting Graham for the first time. He will spend the coming weeks building his staff reaching out to current ASU recruits.

Outgoing coach Dennis Erickson allowed Graham to view practice Thursday for 30 minutes as the Devils prepare for their MAACO Las Vegas Bowl showdown with 7th-ranked Boise State next week.