January 01, 2006
New football coach for Rice

The MOB will commence working on its Annual Salute To The New Coach script now that Tulsa defensive coordinator Todd Graham has signed on to replace the departing Ken Hatfield.

Graham served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for the Golden Hurricane for three seasons.

Tulsa ranked 37th among 119 Division I-A teams in defense this season at 342.3 yards per game and 42nd in scoring defense at 23.4 points per game.

Before coming to Tulsa, Graham spent two seasons at West Virginia, serving as linebackers coach in 2001 and co-defensive coordinator in 2002.

The Mountaineers were ranked 33rd in defense in 2002 and beat nationally ranked Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh.

Before his first full-time college job, Graham, a Mesquite native, spent six years as head coach at Allen High School, leading the Eagles to five postseason appearances.

Graham, 41, is a 1986 graduate of East Central (Okla.) University, where he was a two-time NAIA All-America defensive back. During a three-year stint as defensive coordinator, Graham helped ECU win the NAIA title in 1993.

Graham was one of several candidates.

The list included: TCU's [Mike] Schultz; Texas Tech offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes; Texas A&M offensive coordinator Les Koenning; and San Diego coach Jim Harbaugh, who was offered the job but turned it down and stayed put with a multiyear contract extension.

I confess, I was kinda rooting for Sonny Dykes. Anyone associated with Texas Tech's high-flying offense ought to make an exciting head coach. Still, Rice has had pretty good success lately with coaches named Graham, and Lord knows we need the defensive help. Welcome to Houston, Todd Graham. The fans are happy you're on board, and we can't wait to see how you'll recruit. Best of luck in the new gig.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 01, 2006 to Other sports | TrackBack