The Challenge for ASU, Keeping Pac-12 Coach of the Year Todd Graham in Tempe

Arizona Sports News online

Opportunity comes with success. Pac-12 Coach of the Year Todd Graham knows that better than most. While there were those who ripped him for his job jumping from Pitt to Arizona State, he made the right decision for his career and his family.
If you think that Graham won’t have schools sniffing around on his status in the coming weeks, then you are simply naive.

A signed contract in this day and age doesn’t hold much weight in the coaching profession. Find a good agent and a willing school to pay a kings ransom in a buyout and anything is possible.

Steve Patterson took the stance that nothing was happening between himself and Texas. Of course when the Brinks truck arrived at the Patterson household there was sudden surge in interest and we all know how that story ended.
Let’s be clear on one thing, Patterson stood up to Notre Dame and held them to a contract to play ball next fall in Tempe. So, am I really going to believe that Patterson would steer clear of Graham if he drops the ax on Mack Brown? Do I really believe that there would be no third parties contacting Grahams people? No matter what was publicly agreed to when Patterson departed, the fine print between his departure and pursuing Graham needs to be combed over again and again. Grassy knoll theory? No, just the reality of the coaching business.

I will be interested to see what happens to Grahams assistant coaches in the coming weeks. Mike Norvell has established himself as a very good young play caller. He is the highest paid coordinator in ASU history at $500K. Graham said earlier this year that Norvell will one day be a “big time” coach. Is he ready to leave the nest?
Associate Head Coach Paul Randolph has a desire to lead a program as well.

The success of Arizona State this season has proven what I’ve always believed. This is not just a pro sports town. The college program can thrive too. Just put a good program, with a good schedule out on the field and fans will show up. Graham has most everything he could want here in Tempe. Coaches outside of the West use the lack of TV coverage(Pac-12 Network not on Direct TV) against ASU. He has yet to close to the borders on the top in-state players leaving. He has plenty of work to do here before considering his next move. Question is, will he be able to say “no”.