I have a Todd Graham article in me somewhere. In fact, it's been brewing for several days as I thought about how he acted on the way out of Pittsburgh. Much like Bobby Petrino (and many others) before him, Todd Graham acted like a complete child in how he handled leaving his post at Pittsburgh and taking the Arizona State job.
As I was driving to work on Friday I was listening to the radio and Georgia Bulldogs Head Coach Mark Richt was having his weekly press conference. Richt said something during the press conference that really stood out for me. Here is the quote:
I got to see at Florida State the benefits of stability in a coaching staff. I got to see the benefits of guys playing five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago, eight years ago, and coming back and seeing coach (Bobby Bowden). Seeing people he knows, loves and trusts it's great. I've coached with a couple guys along the way that have never seen a class go from freshman to senior in their whole career. They never stayed four or five years anywhere long enough to see a guy through to the end. You see guys like Ben Harden and Justin Anderson and all these guys like Bruce Figgins. You see them in their house when they are 17-year-old kids and then you see them all grown up ready for life. I enjoy that a lot. That's a big part of why I coach. You don't get that if you are always looking for something better. There's always going to be something that might look better, but for me, there is no place that is better.
In an era of win now college football you don't see coaches staying at schools and seeing a kid grow from "freshman to senior." Sometimes they leave on their own, sometimes they get fired, sometimes other factors come into play. What that quote says to me is something that coaches should really look at before they jump into the first job that offers them big money. If you are a Head Coach and you get offerred big money, make sure you are a fit for that job. If one school is willing to throw money at you then I bet there is more than one that is too. Find the right fit for you. I also understand that not every coaching job is an end destination job but have enough respect for the school and the kids to be straight up with them and be honest with them if you do make the decision to leave for another school. The NFL has it's rookie symposium. Maybe it's time the NCAA does the same with coaches and brings in tenured coaches like Richt to speak with the new guys about how to handle your business.
College Football is very much about winning games on the field and being able to stick out your chest because you beat your rivals from across the state or over the border. But it's also about growing kids into young men and teaching them the right way to do things. If you can do both of those then you are a hero.