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Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham picked up the last coach he needed to make a full staff on Friday when he hired Larry Porter to be the team's new running backs coach. Now that all the hires have been made, Graham released his coaching staff organizational chart on the Sun Devil's official athletic site.
Here's how the defensive coaching responsibilities break down:
Paul Randolph: senior associate head coach, defensive coordinator, defensive line coach
Ron West: co-defensive coordinator, inside linebackers coach
Chris Ball: defensive backs coach, defensive passing game coordinator
Joe Lorig: outside linebacker coach, defensive special teams coordinator
And here's the offensive coaches and their responsibilities:
Mike Norvell: offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach
Bob Connelly: assistant head coach, offensive line coach
Larry Porter: running backs coach
DelVaughn Alexander: wide receivers coach, passing game coordinator
Chip Long: tight ends coach, recruiting coordinator
For more on the Arizona State University Sun Devils, head over to the House of Sparky.
Former University of Memphis Larry Porter joins the Arizona State University football coaching staff, head coach Todd Graham has announced.
Porter brings a lot of experience as a head coach at a Division I program as well as a established recruiter and eye for talent. He spent five years on the LSU coaching staff as well as at Oklahoma State with Les Miles before joining him at Louisiana State in 2005. He was the running backs coach while also holding the roles of staff assistant head coach and chief recruiter.
He was twice (2007 and 2009) named as the National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com, making him one of the top all-around assistant coaches in college football. He will likely serve the role of assistant coach under Todd Graham, likely have a large role in the team's recruiting process.
For more on the hiring and everything ASU, head over to House of Sparky.
Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham has been keeping busy. Not only has he had to scramble to put together a recruiting class this year (for which he got high grades), but he has had to put together a coaching staff. ON Thursday it was announced that he added veteran coach Ron West to the staff to be co-defensive coordinator.
He is a coach with a ton of experience, having had a variety of defensive positions over the past 30 years.
West comes to Arizona State after spending two seasons as the outside linebackers coach at Illinois and inside linebackers coach at New Mexico. He came to Illinois in 2010 with over 30 years of collegiate experience, including 15 years on defense -- eight as a coordinator -- and 16 years on the offensive side of the ball.
He worked with Graham while both were at Tulsa.
Graham already has said that the group of coaches he has right now is already the best he has ever worked with. West only improves this group.
ASU has a lot of work to do, but with what Coach Graham has been able to do so far, it looks like they will be well on their way to becoming the program they hope to be, and might actually surprise people even this year.
Arizona State Sun Devils head football coach Todd Graham has named Paul Randolph as senior associate head coach. Randolph has spent the past six seasons working under Graham and spent last season at the University of Pittsburgh as associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.
Randolph has been instrumental in multiple rebuilding projects that turned into success stories. Prior to arriving at Pitt, Randolph spent four seasons at Tulsa as Tulsa turned into a perennial bowl team winning 36 games during that time and three bowls.
In 2006, Randolph worked under Graham at Rice University and helped lead the Owls to their first bowl berth in 45 years and a 7-5 regular season record.
Randolph was the defensive ends coach at Alabama from 2003 to 2005 as the Crimson Tide were among the nation's top defenses. During his stint at Alabama, Randolph was also named one of the country's top 25 recruiters by Rivals.
Quarterback Brock Osweiler of the Arizona State Sun Devils could be leaving Tempe.
Arizona State Football coach Todd Graham added a fourth new member to his coaching staff on Friday, announcing that former UCLA Offensive Line coach Bob Connelly has accepted an assistant coaching position with the Sun Devils. This announcement comes close on the heels of the hiring of Chris Thomsen, formerly of Abilene Christian, Mike Norvell of Pitt, and Chris Ball, formerly with the Washington State Cougars.
According to ASU's official press release on the hire, Bob Connelly spent the 2011 season coaching the offensive line for the UCLA Bruins, and the previous four seasons in Tuscaloosa, Ala., as the offensive line coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Connely was named one of the nation's Top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com in 2005, and coached a number of All-SEC performers during his time in Alabama. His offensive line helped the Crimson Tide carve out the 20th-best rushing attack in the country and the top rushing game in the SEC in 2004. They also ranked second in the SEC in fewest sacks allowed. In 2003, Connelly's line led a rushing attack that netted 2,067 yards - fourth-best in the Southeastern Conference - and produced two All-SEC linemen. Alabama played in three bowlgames during his four seasons, including the 2007 Independence Bowl, 2006 Cotton Bowl and the 2004 Music City Bowl.
Another in a line of intriguing hires by Todd Graham, the new ASU Football coach.
Arizona State Football coach Todd Graham added yet another assistant coach to his staff Friday, as it was announced that former Abilene Christian head coach Chris Thomsen has accepted a position at ASU. Per this report, Thomsen will coach 'offensive backs' for ASU.
Chris Thompsen took over at ACU seven seasons ago, inheriting a team that hadn't won a Lone Star Conference championship since 1977 and hadn't won an outright championship since 1973. He led ACU to a 4-6 debut in 2005, then took the Wildcats to a 47-15 record over the final six seasons and six straight trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Despite his success in Abilene, Thompson noted that he couldn't pass up the opportunity to coach in the Pac-12, and said, of Arizona State, "This is a great area, and I believe it's a program that has a ton of potential. I'm excited to be part of coach Graham's staff and what's going to happen here."
This looks like a good get for the Sun Devils. Per the ASU press release, Thompson, the the two-time AFCA Region IV Coach of the Year, coached four NFL draft choices (Danieal Manning, 42nd pick, second round by the Chicago Bears in 2006; Johnny Knox, fifth-round pick by the Bears in 2009; Bernard Scott, sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009; Clyde Gates, fourth-round pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2011); an NFL Pro Bowl selection (Knox in 2009), a Harlon Hill Award winner (Scott in 2008), the award that is the NCAA Division II equivalent of the Heisman Trophy; and a Gene Upshaw Award winner (Sam Collins in 2008), signifying the top lineman in NCAA Division II football.
Newly appointed Arizona State head football coach Todd Graham is wasting little time in filling out his coaching staff as it was announced on Friday that Graham has hired his long time assistant coach Mike Norvell as well as former Washington State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ball to his coaching staff.
Norvell has been with Graham for the past five season at both Tulsa and Pitt, starting as an offensive graduate assistant and wide receivers coach with Tulsa. He would go one to become passing game coordinator and receivers coach for two seasons, then become director of recruiting for Graham in 2010. He was the director of recruiting, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach for Pitt during their 2011 campaign.
As for Ball, his last three seasons have been spent as WSU's assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, where he was a defensive backs coach from 2000-2002 as well. He was a secondary coach at Pitt in 2007, and from 2003-2006, was the secondary coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ball's secondary was one of the top in the nation under his tutelage, including a 2004 season that saw Alabama's defense rank first nationally in pass defense (113.1 passing ypg) and second in pass efficiency defense.
Norvell has been a critical part of Graham's high powered offenses over the past few years, while Ball brings his defensive expertise and knowhow to a Sun Devils program looking for a bit of rejuvenation. Todd Graham has hit the ground running.
The Todd Graham era has begun at Arizona State, and not a moment too soon. The dreadful search for ASU's next head coach is over, and the Speak of the Devils show has you covered. In fact, so much is covered that this week's show is in two parts
In Part 1, we talk with ArizonaSports.com's Vince Marotta, one of the leading sports voices in the state to get his take on the surprise hiring and the immediate implications. We then go in-depth with former ASU defensive end Kyle Caldwell to examine the recruiting impact, break down the Xs and Os of the 3-3-5 defense and what Graham needs to do turn the program around.
Part 2 goes deep inside ASU's hire, examining Graham's entire career--his strengths, weaknesses, pros and cons and what to expect here at ASU. From how his early stops at Rice and Tulsa, to the challenges faced at Pitt to the impact on recruiting, nothing goes missing in this episode.
On Wednesday, the Arizona St. Sun Devils officially introduced Todd Graham as the new football head coach. At the end of their 17-day search, the Sun Devils presented Graham as a young coach who will help ASU football move forward and deliver on its potential.
School President Michael Crow and Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love spoke at length about the search in general and Graham in particular before Graham got his chance in the spotlight. The duo emphasized Graham's ability to teach and mold young individuals while elevating the program to a new level. In Crow's words, Graham is a coach "who can teach, inspire, win, lose." Crow emphasized that Graham is the candidate who can help ASU "be among the best in everything we do" while Love summarized the entire coaching process by stating that the "patience, diligence in search" resulted in the hiring of a capable coach who is a "teacher, developer of young men."
When Graham got a chance to address the public himself, he began by introducing his family and speaking of his deep family ties to the Phoenix area. Addressing the negative press surrounding his farewell to Pittsburgh players- namely the fact that he merely texted his players his goodbye- Graham stated that "the situation did not allow me to talk to (the Pittsburgh) players in person." Graham stated that he regrets how things played out and has made it a point to return to Pittsburgh in the near future to right his abrupt departure.
From there, Graham went on to talk about the importance of relationships as ASU head coach. With regards to recruiting in particular, Graham stated that he "can't wait to talk to recruits" and network with local high school coaches. ASU faces uncertainty in its 2012 recruiting class with the departure of recruiting coordinator Steve Broussard and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone to UCLA; regardless, Graham hopes to retain enthusiasm about ASU football in the eyes of recruits. "I think kids sign with coaches," he said. He promised to contact recruits as soon as possible, potentially as soon as Thursday morning.
Graham also addressed his plan for success at ASU: "Discipline is the key to winning football games...Our program is about discipline." His words stirred with the ASU football faithful who have watched the past few Sun Devil teams hindered by turnovers and penalties. Graham stated that he would ask his athletes "to work harder than anyone else in the country" and "be championship citizens."
All in all, Graham exuded energy during the entire duration of the press conference, even while addressing questions about his questionable track record of school hopping (Graham is entering his fourth head coaching job in six years). His passionate enthusiasm provides a nice change for the ASU football program.
Graham's address concluded with one statement that embodies his enthusiasm and passion, a statement that marks the beginning of a new era in ASU coaching history and all of the unpredictably that comes with it.
"Starting right now, I'm a Sun Devil."
That light at the end of Arizona State's coaching search is now here, as the Sun Devils have hired Todd Graham to succeed Dennis Erickson.
The hiring took most everyone off-guard, as Graham was not a name mentioned by anyone over the preceding three weeks of the search. Nevertheless, his reached agreement on Tuesday night and the move was announced today, with mixed reaction from the ASU community.
As with any coach not named Meyer, Saban or Miles, there are an abundance of positives and negatives associated with a new head coach at a major program.
Todd Graham is set to be announced as the new head coach of the Arizona St. Sun Devils later today. Graham is leaving skid marks on his way out of Pitt, but it seems like he's all set to take over the reins in Tempe. He's been generally successful everywhere he's been, and he's expected to take over and make a big mark at Arizona State in a quick period of time.
The official press conference announcing his hire will take place later today on the Arizona State campus. For those interested in checking it out, here's the information on the event.
Time: 5:30 PM local time
TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Jody Jackson will anchor the coverage
Online: There should be a stream of the telecast available at FoxSportsArizona.com.
Place: Dutson Theater, ASU's Carson Student-Athlete Center.
Coverage: SB Nation will be on hand and will follow up with a story and impressions from the introduction.
To discuss the hiring of Graham and ASU football in general with fellow Sun Devil fans, head on over to House of Sparky. For all the latest AZ sports news, follow us on Twitter @SBNArizona and "Like" us on Facebook.
The Arizona State Sun Devils football program released an official statement that they have indeed hired former Pitt coach Todd Graham to be their new head football coach effective immediately. A press conference is scheduled for 5:30 Arizona time this afternoon, to be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona.
When deciding on a coach, Vice President of Athletics Lisa Love had this to say about the decision:
"In Todd, we have not only hired a young and sitting head coach, but one with a history of success on the field and in hiring top-notch assistant coaches. For the first time in his career, he will be taking over a program with a strong nucleus at the beginning. We are excited to watch Coach Graham take over a very well-positioned program and elevate it to the next level."
School President Dr. Michael Crow was also very excited about the hire:
"What we sought in a football coach was someone who would be in it for the long term at Arizona State, who would build and guide a program that would be competitive in the Pac-12 and on a national level year after year after year, who would communicate and connect with the community, and represent our University with honor. In Todd Graham we have that person."
Graham is 49-29 in his six-year head coaching career, with his most recently stop at Pittsburgh in 2011. He also spent four years at Tulsa where he led the Golden Hurricanes to a 36-17 record under his tutelage along with three bowl victories and three 10-plus win seasons. He also spent time as the head coach at Rice where he lead the Owls to their first bowl game in 45 seasons in 2006 and earned Conference USA Coach of the Year honors. He also spent time as a coordinator under Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia, and a short stint with the Arizona Cardinals as a player.
Turning a program around is also somewhat of his specialty, as he was part of two of the NCAA's top single-season turnarounds in recent history. He turned a 2002 Tulsa squad that 1-11, to an 8-4 team in 2003, and while at West Virginia, the Mountaineers went 3-8 his first season there but improved to 9-4 in his second season. Hopefully he can do something similar down in Tempe.
Over at House of Sparky, the one and only location for everything under the Sun Devil sports Sun, fans are reacting all across the spectrum about the hiring of Todd Graham as their new head coach. Although this news is still unofficial, the palpable buzz across the interweb is steady about it, with a multitude of opines on the subject, though at House of Sparky not many of them are positive thus far.
Dirk Diggler Commented:
4 head coaching jobs in 6 years. Twice leaving a school after one year. He texted his players that he was leaving at both Pitt and Rice. What a joke. THIS is the best ASU could do?
Pitt Guy, likely a Pitt fan I'd assume, had this to say:
If anything, we are lucky to get rid of Coach Todd Graham after just one year at Pitt. Buy a beer tonight on me Sun Devil bro.
Cincysundevil with more of the same:
All we can do now is hope he doesn't destroy the program, but I've gotta tell you .. I'm not hopeful.
H.O.S. also is running a poll on fans feelings on the move, graded A-F, with the majority of folks coming if with either a vote of C (67 votes) or F (62 votes) as of 1:21 Arizona time. So not too many are stoked on the reported hiring yet. Now only time will tell whether or not he will be a good fit.
Early reaction to the reported hiring of Todd Graham as the next Arizona State football coach has been mixed. Some seem pleased the search is over and cite Graham's Texas roots as a positive for the Sun Devil program. Others are correctly pointing out that Graham only spent one season with Pitt after being hired away from Tulsa in January 2011.
There seems to be understandable bitterness coming from the Pittsburgh football community and some trepidation from Arizona as well.
To get some insight into ASU's new (reportedly) head football coach, watch this video posted on PittPanthers.com
In the video, we see a highly energetic coach who at the age of 47 is out on the field taking a hands-on approach to coaching. The former player appears active and engaged and passionate which are all qualities we've heard ASU fans ask for in their next football coach.
Ironically, the video starts with Graham telling his players, "Let me tell you, I'm building a program here and I don't got no five-year plan. I've got a one-year plan."
Let's hope that Graham doesn't come to ASU with only a one-year plan.
News is pouring in that Arizona State University will hire Todd Graham to be their next head football coach. ASU hasn't confirmed the news but that only seems to be a matter of time given that Graham already told his players at Pitt that he was leaving. He reportedly notified the team that he coached for one season of his departure via text message.
Source: Todd Graham leaving Pitt after one year - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State," Graham said. "Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham."
Graham's Pitt Panthers went 6-6 this season and are scheduled to play SMU in the BVAA Compass Bowl. Three Pitt assistants have already departed the school to join Rich Rodriguez in Tucson.
The search for a new head football coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils has been a tumultuous whirlwind of dizzying information over the past few weeks, and now out of the fray comes another possibly candidate as multiple reports on Twitter have Pittsburgh's Todd Graham leaving the program to become the new head coach down in Tempe.
The reports are still coming in from all over the country, but many of Pitt's own players are reacting on Twitter as if Graham has already packed his bags and said his goodbyes.
Graham began his collegiate coaching career as the linebackers coach for Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia back in 2001, becoming defensive co-coordinator the following season, and just defensive coordinator in 2003. After a stint at Rice in 2006 he left for Tulsa, where he was the head coach until Jan. of 2011 when he took the position at Pitt, which he will now leave after only a single year on the job. He also had a short stint with the Arizona Cardinals as a player as well.
Graham prefers to run a spread-type offense, while his defense is similar to that of the three-man stack employed by West Virginia. Should bring a lot of excitement to the field down in Tempe, and hopefully a lot of success as well.
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