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Thread: Pitt hires Todd Graham

      
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    Default Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Finally something official:

    The University of Pittsburgh has hired former Tulsa head coach Todd Graham as its new football coach, the university announced tonight.

    Pitt will introduce Graham in a press conference Tuesday.

    Graham was Tulsa's head coach for the past four seasons and compiled a 36-17 record. His teams won 10 or more games in three of his four seasons and won three bowl games, including a 62-35 victory over Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl Dec. 24.

    "We are thrilled that Todd Graham has agreed to become the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh," Pederson said in a statement.

    "His innovative, creative and energized approach to football makes him an exciting leader for our program. He has a proven track record of success at all levels of football and his wealth of experience on both sides of the ball gives him a unique set of credentials."

    Graham was the head coach of Rice University for one season. He was an assistant coach at West Virginia for two seasons before joining Tulsa as a defensive coordinator in 2003.

    "My family and I are honored to join such a prestigious university and rich football tradition like the University of Pittsburgh," Graham said in a statement.

    "Pittsburgh is a tremendous football city with great fans. We will work diligently every day to earn their respect and build a program that competes for and wins championships. I'm also excited to return to the Big East, a conference that plays tremendous football."
    Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/11010/111...#ixzz1Aglkdn4n

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Wish I was excited, but time will tell.....
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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Was this search firm involved in this hire?
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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    I like this. An established coach who knows how to win Bowl games.
    The only thing that concerns me is recruiting. Most likely a downgrade from a guy like Bradley.
    But, time will tell....

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by beerman View Post
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    I like this. An established coach who knows how to win Bowl games.
    The last coach to leave Tulsa went to Louisville after winning a few bowl games, if I recall correctly (I might be wrong, but don't think so)... He sucked hind tit after the move....

    ... But again, time will tell... So I guess I don't have much else to say.... I'm not "thrilled", but will give the benefit of the doubt.
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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    93.7 The Fan is reporting that Graham's deal is 5 years $10 million. Obviously the 5 years means absolutely nothing in college football, but that $2 million annual average is huge for Pitt. That's about twice what Wannstedt was making and likely about 4 times what they were planning to pay Haywood (I never did see a report on his contract details).

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    The last coach to leave Tulsa went to Louisville after winning a few bowl games, if I recall correctly (I might be wrong, but don't think so)... He sucked hind tit after the move....

    ... But again, time will tell... So I guess I don't have much else to say.... I'm not "thrilled", but will give the benefit of the doubt.
    I had to go and look that up because I couldn´t remember either.

    It was Steve Kragthorpe. He amassed a 15-21 record at Louisville. He took Tulsa to 3 Bowl games in 4 seasons but only won one of them. His record as head coach of Tulsa was 29-22.

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Maybe they'll start their new search for an athletic director this week.
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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by jnn123 View Post
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    93.7 The Fan is reporting that Graham's deal is 5 years $10 million. Obviously the 5 years means absolutely nothing in college football, but that $2 million annual average is huge for Pitt. That's about twice what Wannstedt was making and likely about 4 times what they were planning to pay Haywood (I never did see a report on his contract details).
    Somewhere.... Mike Leach is still scratching his head.....
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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Quote Originally Posted by beerman View Post
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    I like this. An established coach who knows how to win Bowl games.
    The only thing that concerns me is recruiting. Most likely a downgrade from a guy like Bradley.
    But, time will tell....
    If he starts winning big, the recruits will follow.

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/...tt-gets-graham


    My day began in an ice storm in the South and now, 15 hours later, I am finally back in Pittsburgh and happy on two fronts -- one, I'm home safe and two, the Pitt coaching search is finally over.

    And in the end, regardless of how you feel about Todd Graham as the next Pitt coach, you can't call Pitt cheap (any more, at least) and you can't say that Pitt didn't go after and get its man and the reason it happened?

    It is pretty simple --- Pitt surprised him and stepped up and paid the money he was asking for.

    As I first started writing Saturday - Graham was the guy they zeroed in on first but when they began talking money, the two sides were not particularly close. In fact, I talked to someone in Tulsa today close to Graham who said when this process first started Saturday he didn't think he'd have a decision to make about the job because he didn't expect Pitt to come up with the money he was looking for.Graham said as much at his news conference - he said he didn't expect to leave and that he "labored on his decision" and "it was off and on" for a week.

    But he figured he'd at least hear what they may be able to get a raise out of Tulsa out of the deal or at least a few dollars for his assistants.

    By Saturday night, however, his tune had changed because Pitt surprised him by coming up with their offer and then about 24 hours of offers and counter offers later and he realized the money was getting to the point where, he had to really seriously think about it.

    Then this morning he told a source his final counter offer was going to be $2 million for him and $2 million for his assistant's pool. And he said that was make or break and that by the end of today he'd either be "all the way in or all the way out."

    The bottom line is Graham told Pitt's people that if they are serious about winning championships, they need to make a commitment and need to pony up for a staff as well. I really believe this - he wasn't going to take this job unless he knew he could really compete with TCU, Louisville, Rutgers, WVU etc., etc., in terms of money for his staff and other considerations. The guy wants to win, and that's a good start.

    Again, say whatever you want about Pitt, say you hate the hire, call Graham a mercenary or a carpetbagger, talk about his record versus Wannstedt's over the past three years and everything else (I've already heard most of it) but one thing you can't say is Pitt made this hire on the cheap because the opposite is true - they paid top dollar for a coach who is considered one of the hot candidates in the country.

    ** Perhaps the most interesting part of these searches comes immediately after they are done because candidates, their representatives and some of the key players from inside the university are all more willing to talk to you about things and you pick up some good nuggets of information.

    During the search, sources can lead you one way or the other -- or they give you good information and ask you to make it a little bit fuzzy so as to protect them (like, for instance, using words like "about" when talking about money, likely, when talking about a job offer or not telling exactly when and where an interview took place but confirming an interview took place --- but once it is over, more of the truth comes out because it is allowed to come out.

    It was a fun - yet difficult -- story to cover from the standpoint of how it changed and moved from day to day and that is the nature of these coaching search stories. One day a guy is the leader, the next day another coach interviews and is even better than the other. Or one guy has a great interview then asks for too much money -- there are so many variables in these things, you just have to keep pushing forward with it and not get frustrated.

    So with that being said, here are some things we've gathered already tonight:

    1.) Tom Bradley did not interview at Connecticut on Sunday. He cancelled that and instead had his second interview with Pitt and got an audience with Chancellor Mark Nordenberg. That means he was, as I reported yesterday, one of the other finalists. It also means he is the only other coach who got in front of Nordenberg. The committee all liked Bradley but weren't all sold on whether he was the right fit and felt like they needed to make a run at a guy like Graham.

    2.) Now, the interesting thing from the search is this - had things fallen through with Graham, a source told me that Teryl Austin - who interviewed Wednesday in Atlanta which is why he didn't interview Sunday as it was reported he was supposed to -- would have been the next guy who would have had an audience and a second interview with the chancellor. And here is the thing about Austin - he came into this as a guy who, because of his Pitt ties and because he had some key alumni pulling for him -- like Larry Fitzgerald -- got into the process as almost a courtesy interview type situation. But he, according to a source, knocked it out of the park when he met with the committee and really impressed them with his organization, his plan, his plans for a staff. He really put himself in the discussion with his interview skills and might have actually gotten the job but Graham was the guy who the committee wanted to take a run at first. That's how it happens, too, and it is why a guy can be a courtesy interview one week and a finalist the next.

    3.) Graham has a very large buyout in his Pitt contract according to sources so if LSU or anyone else wants to get him here in the next few years, they are going to have to pay a big number. I say this because the "carpetbagger" stuff has followed this guy around - and for good reason as he seems to be good at using other jobs as leverage for more money. One thing he did tell Pitt, however, when they gave him their first offer, was "make me an offer high enough that I won't be leaving you any time soon" and apparently Pitt did.

    4.) Graham's staff is already coming together quickly. He is expected to bring with him - according to sources in Tulsa - at least three coaches, Keith Patterson, Paul Randolph (the two defensive coordinators) and offensive line coach Spencer Leftwich. There is also speculation that he will bring pass game coordinator Mike Norvell to be his offensive coordinator -- but he has also discussed the position with Calvin Magee (who he worked with at West Virginia and was most recently the offensive coordinator at Michigan) but Magee is weighing some other offers, apparently including one to replace Dana Holgorsen at Oklahoma State. Magee made $285,000 at Michigan so he'd be expensive but Graham has some real money to spend on his staff so he could conceivably pay Magee enough to bring him if he wanted.

    Three other coaches from Michigan's staff - assistant head coach Tony Gibson (who made $244,000) and wide receiver's coach Tony Dews ($185,000) and defensive line coach Bruce Tall - are expected to join Pitt's staff with Graham as well.

    So in short, if all of the reports, rumors and sources are correct and these guys all come to Pitt - that is seven out of the nine spots available on the staff already filled.Again, a lot can change in a few days but my sense is this staff is going to be put together rather quickly because time is running extremely short in terms of recruiting.

    5) Pitt's old staff has started to land elsewhere: Dave Wannstedt (now special assistant to athletic director), Frank Cignetti (now offensive coordinator at Rutgers), Jeff Hafley (now an assistant with Rutgers), Phil Bennett (now the defensive coordinator at Baylor), Bernard Clark (might join Bennett at Baylor), Greg Gattuso (now defensive line coach at Maryland), David Walker (now the running backs coach at Maryland), Brian Angelichio (might join Cignetti and Hafley at Rutgers). That leaves Tony Wise and Scott Turner and both have some opportunities to land in the NFL so it looks like the outgoing staff is in good shape in terms of moving on and finding jobs.

    6.) In the midst of this all, Pitt confirmed what we already knew and had written about - that underclassmen Jon Baldwin, Dion Lewis and Henry Hynoski are all headed to the NFL. I'll have more on this tomorrow, I'm just too tired right now after nearly 15 hours on the road.

    At any rate, that's enough for now, it is time for me to go to sleep. Tomorrow we will continue the story with the introduction of Graham at Pitt (a 3:30 news conference) and then I will begin to look at recruiting and things of the such.

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    Here´s a look at "The Todd Graham Show." This was the epsiode after Tulsa´s win against Notre Dame. Some of the commercials are still in though. Kind of an interesting look. Oh, and I hope he brings his special teams coach with him.






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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    I'm willing to give him a chance......................unless,of course,he smacks around his old lady before the season starts.

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    He must have been the least expensive option remaining of the applicants that would actually take the job. I can't believe where this program is right now. I hope he's wildly successful; I have my doubts that anyone will be successful at this University now or in the future. We'll see.

    Papillon

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    Default Re: Pitt hires Todd Graham

    I think the guy is as good of a candidate as any. I think that all Pitt fans need to prepare themselves for a lack of Defense but they should really enjoy the Offense that this guy puts up. I'm excited.
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