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Todd Graham makes headlines again, this time for a good reason

Arizona State Introduces Todd Graham Getty Images

Todd Graham was labeled as disingenuous and a job hopper when he took off after one year with Pittsburgh for Arizona State.

Much of the criticism Graham received was merited. It’s not that Graham left the Panthers so soon — people change jobs all the time — but how he left. Graham didn’t tell his players in person he was leaving after asking them time and time again to commit to the program (and to him), and continued to bash Pitt after he left.

For that, you can understand why there was scoffing among media members every time Graham preached commitment at ASU.

But, in fairness to Graham, you have to report the good with the bad. Check out this letter sent to the Arizona Republic below about some lives Graham affected in a positive way:

I wanted to inform both The Republic and everyone in Arizona about a recent interaction I was fortunate enough to have with Arizona State University football coach Todd Graham. 

A very good friend of mine, Garrett Gorzalski, was in Hospice of Arizona with a terminal illness. We contacted the ASU Athletic Department to see if there was something we could do as a tribute to him to lift his spirits in the final days. 

Much to our surprise, we were immediately contacted by Coach Graham, who asked if he could come out and see Garrett personally. Despite being in LA for Pac-12 media day, he promised to come and see him as soon as he got back. 

Not only did Coach come to visit, he actually led us all in a prayer for my friend as well and promised to send the game ball to us should they beat Missouri. Most people would have just responded via email. 

This was a very special moment as it turned out to be one of the last we spent with Garrett. Coach Graham’s only response when questioned as to why he would show was, “That’s what we do.” He did when most don’t. Thank you. 

— Patrick Lewis, Tempe

Have to applaud Graham for following through. It was a kind gesture, and one Lewis and the Gorzalski family won’t soon forget.

(Hat tip: ESPN’s Pac-12 blog) 

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8 Responses to “Todd Graham makes headlines again, this time for a good reason”
  1. 11thstreetmafia says: Aug 14, 2012 9:21 PM

    Todd Graham………Still a douche.

  2. Chris Hamblin says: Aug 14, 2012 11:31 PM

    Coach Graham was one of my high school coaches. He only lasted one year there also.

  3. blastfurnaceknows says: Aug 15, 2012 12:42 AM

    Graham has crapped all over his own players, multiple football programs and multiple cities. He is and has always been the epitome of douchebaggery. So, I have to ask, has ASU done the first smart thing its done in several years and hired a body double? If so, do the next smart thing and find out if the double can coach, because the actual article sure as hell can’t.

    (I would have wrote “genuine article,” but there isn’t one thing about Graham that is actually genuine.)

  4. ningenito78 says: Aug 15, 2012 1:09 AM

    Wow. In all honesty, I’m thoroughly impressed by the few comments here. I’m so used to the obligatory ‘well at least he has class’ or ‘whatever he does as a football coach is nothing compared to what he is as a person’ crap. At least I’m not the only one that sees through this transparent garbage. Hey, I’m glad for the family he apparently lifted spiritually here but the bottom line is a person shows their true colors while acting in their daily lives. Not in a moment when somebody throws you a softball over the middle of the plate to knock out of the park. Todd Graham is a dbag. He should write a ‘No. Thank YOU’ letter to the family for giving him an easy back patting moment.

  5. tommy57 says: Aug 15, 2012 4:55 AM

    Given Graham’s past, I can only assume this was a PR stunt in an effort to repair his public image. Given the circumstances of the patient, this is “Joe Paterno” low.

  6. tlmoon2112 says: Aug 15, 2012 7:38 AM

    Dont care if hes a job hopper or not, when my 12 year old kid was in hospice his last days with cancer, having visitors that lifted our spirits and his we’re a very welcome distraction to the doom and gloom of sitting by watching a loved one literally rot away. Kudos to him even if it was a PR stunt. Believe me, a family who is already grieving like that doesnt know the difference.

  7. pens5829 says: Aug 15, 2012 9:44 AM

    Graham originally wanted to send a text wishing him well, but the ASU PR department stepped in and made him do the right thing.

  8. ezwriter69 says: Aug 15, 2012 6:31 PM

    And Moussolini kept the trains running on time.

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