Off-Season Concept Sharing Not Foreign To Graham, Coaches

This off-season Todd Graham held an open house.

No, Arizona State’s head football coach isn’t moving but he is expanding.

His mind.

In what is becoming more and more common in the “top-secret” world of college football Graham and his staff continue to branch out to other coaches in his inner circle for concepts on and off the field.

“We always exchange ideas,” Graham told’s Brad Cesmat in an off-season phone interview. “Coach [Gus] Malzahn at Auburn and our staff are always exchanging ideas.”

Apparently imitation, in one way or another, is the most sincere form of flattery.

While some coaches, like TCU’s Gary Patterson, have become somewhat paranoid of “spies” lurking around spring workouts and facilities more and more coaches are using the cross-pollination of X’s and O’s to their advantage.

Graham even took the time to make the short drive south in Tempe to watch Arizona Cardinals summer workouts and chat with new defensive coordinator James Bettcher. The coaching circle is a tight one so it’s not uncommon for college and the NFL to overlap. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is close with New England’s Bill Belichick.ย 

New SMU head coach Chad Morris, a longtime friend of Graham, has also been part of the brainstorming as has Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter whose offensive staff came out to ASU in the past few months for a visit. Morris and Graham, long-time Texas high school coaches, were both on staff at Tulsa in 2010.

“We’ll have different staffs come and watch and visit with us,” Graham explained to Cesmat. “Mostly it’s guys that I have a relationship with.”

After all that’s what friends are for, right?ย