After coming off of a 10-4 season in year two of his tenure at ASU, head coach Todd Graham is trying to instill greatness in his “organization”. Every coach in the country is trying to build on the last season. Every program loses key players heading into the next year. Therefore, unlike the NFL, almost every college team in the country is rebuilding.
For Graham, he is in the same mode as some other newer PAC-12 coaches (Jim Mora, Rich Rod, Mike Leach, etc) who are entering year two or three at their respective schools. They are attempting to fashion the program into a certain mold. They are trying to create a mentality that suits their vision. In many ways, just like a CEO would when taking over a company.
Graham may be one of the leaders in that category. He speaks victory all the time. He is a legitimate workaholic. But in his own words, he says that he “doesn’t work, but rather gets paid to do what he loves”. That’s his mentality. He doesn’t view recruiting, pressers, meetings, film work and other obligations as a nuisance. He loves it. All he wants to do is talk football and do football related things.
That’s what might make Graham a special head coach. No matter which assistants come and go or what players he brings in or loses to graduation, he is tireless in his pursuit of excellence. Just watch one practice and you’ll see it.
Hand in hand with his attitude and work ethic is his belief in disciplined players and accountability to all who are involved. Graham’s processes, the things he emphasizes and his mental energy bring the best out of his players.
However, like all coaches, he must be aware of and try to improve on being tactically/schematically proficient, technically sound, game plan appropriately and use the specific talents of his players to put them in the best possible position to succeed and win games.
That’s the hard part. But Devils in Detail believes that coach Graham will do his due diligence in that regard. In the meantime, his ability to demand (and presumably receive) the very best that his players can give is the epitome of coaching.