Eight months after Todd Graham was hired as Arizona State’s new football coach, the major elements of his story are well known.
We know he fled a bad situation at Pittsburgh, enduring a firestorm of criticism for bailing on the job after 11 months. We’ve heard critics call him a cut-and-burn artist for the number of programs he’s left behind.
We’ve heard his Texas-drawl-spiced catch phrases a thousand times: “Speaking Victory.” “High Octane.”
We know he loves barbecue. Really loves barbecue.
But there is still plenty to learn about Graham. In the latest installment of FOX Sports Arizona’s “In My Own Words,” Graham walks FOX Sports Arizona’s Craig Morgan through the building blocks and seminal moments of his life, step by step. Graham is at once engaging, insightful, humorous, revealing, remorseful and always bigger than life.
The seven-part web series begins airing Aug. 2 on FOXSportsArizona.com. It will be condensed for television on FOX Sports Arizona, with the premiere showing at 4 p.m. on Aug. 25.
Here’s the schedule for the seven online segments:
Aug. 2 – Todd’s childhood in Mesquite, Texas, is marked by his dad abandoning the family and his football coaches filling the void.
Aug. 3 – Graham achieves his proudest playing moment at East Central University (Ada, Okla.), and his playing career ends with a brief stint with the Cardinals. Also, he sees similarities between himself and a current Sun Devil that will surprise you.
Aug. 6 – You won’t believe how many times Graham and Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez have crossed paths, starting with the 1993 NAIA national championship game and continuing through Todd’s first Division I job and their current positions on rival sidelines.
Aug. 7 – Graham gets his first head coaching job at Rice, a single season overshadowed by the sudden death of freshman Dale Lloyd. Todd also responds to criticism for leaving Rice after a single year, giving an answer he insists he’s never said on camera until now.
Aug. 8 – Graham leaves Pitt in a cloud of controversy after a single season, calling the 11-month stint “a mistake.”
Aug. 9 – Graham details how he met his wife, Penni, why he didn’t want to get married again and the personalities of their six kids: Bo, Hank, Natalie, Haylee, Dakota and Michael Todd Jr.
Aug. 10 – Graham takes the reins in Tempe and starts speaking victory.