When Todd Graham arrived at Arizona State back in mid December of 2011, the Sun Devils facilities were well behind their PAC-12 counterparts. Graham understood that in order to compete for conference titles, and top recruits that they were going to need a new team facility, and some other upgrades as well, including around the stadium.
In order to make those things happen, Graham put on his fundraising hat and went to work, and even donated $500,000 of his own money in September of 2014 to jump start things. Athletic director Ray Anderson matched that with a half a million dollar donation of his own.
“At that time, we had a lot of turnover, especially in the administration with the ADs, so I just took it upon myself to do it,” Graham told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I went out and built relationships and started raising money, and even though those relationships are incredible, that distracted me from the coaching part of it.”
For what its worth, Graham’s fundraising efforts went a long way, even if he won’t be there to enjoy all of it firsthand. Just before the 2017 season, what would end up being Graham’s final season with the Sun Devils, Arizona State moved into their new team facility. Also, the stadium renovations should be ready around the time the 2018 season kicks off.
Looking back on it, Graham says that doing all that fundraising over several years with the goal of improving the facilities in Tempe was the one thing he’d go back and change if he could. He shared with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that if he could turn back time, he would have “stayed focused,” and “continued coaching.”
“It was because I got a little distracted and involved in things that I knew needed to be done – and I’m so proud of that building. I’m so proud of what we’ve done because it’s going to impact the program in a huge way.”
“If I had to do it over again, I would have spent less time raising money and stayed focused on coaching football, ” Graham shared.
Read the full piece here, with more plenty comments and insight from Todd Graham.