Todd Graham has been fired Sunday morning, the program has announced.
The statement from Sun Devils AD Ray Anderson:
When evaluating our head coaches, we have been very clear in our four-prong approach: integrity, academics, performance and fan affinity advancement.
From the moment he arrived in Tempe, Todd helped change the culture and emphasized the student in student-athlete here at Arizona State, elevating the program to unprecedented heights in the classroom and strong citizenship across the board.
However, our athletic department, university and community expect our football program to compete on the field for Pac-12 titles, be competitively consistent and qualify to participate in major bowl games on a regular basis. In evaluating Todd’s body of work over a four-year period, it became clear that a change is necessary.
We are committed to turning Sun Devil Football into an elite program and competing nationally on a consistent basis.
A national search will begin immediately and we will be deliberate in hiring a leader that fits our expectations as a program and a university.
USA Today’s Dan Wolken reported Saturday night that Arizona State was not expected to retain Graham win or lose against Arizona.
Chris Karpman of Sun Devil Source reports the decision to relieve Graham came after the Sun Devils’ 44-37 loss to UCLA on Nov. 11.
The Sun Devils beat the Wildcats 40-28 to claim the Territorial Cup last night, but Anderson gave a “no comment” when asked about Graham’s job status after the game.
Graham’s status has been tenuous since the end of last season, when Anderson declined to trigger the automatic rollover option in Graham’s contract — sending him into the 2017 season with only three years left on his contract.
Graham posted a 7-5 mark this season but failed to bring the program back to its heights of 2013-14, when the Sun Devils went a combined 20-7, finished in the AP Top 25 both seasons and won the Pac-12 South in 2013. Even with the 7-win mark this season, Arizona State went 18-19 in Graham’s final three seasons after going 28-12 in his first three.
With the move, Arizona State becomes the 12th FBS program and third in the Pac-12 to make a coaching change, following Oregon State and UCLA.
Anderson is expected to pursue Kevin Sumlin (assuming he is available), Michigan passing game coordinator Pep Hamilton, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, and Vanderbilt head coach and Phoenix native Derek Mason, according to Wolken.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.