The Arizona State football program has enjoyed a resurgence under new head coach Todd Graham and his coaching staff. The Devils won their last three games of the season, including a victory over rival Arizona and a landslide win against Navy in the Kraft Bowl on Saturday.
ASU Athletic Director Steve Patterson told Arizona Sports 620's Doug & Wolf Wednesday he couldn't be more pleased with Graham's inaugural season as head coach.
"We really thought [Graham] did a great job this year," Patterson said. "Scored a lot of points, which we were looking for, made sure all of our guys really grew as individuals. We were really pleased. He connected with the community. Everything we asked him to do, he did and culminated with a great blowout win over Navy, setting all kinds of records in the Kraft Bowl in San Francisco."
With the success Graham and his coaching staff had this past year came heavy interest from other schools in ASU's personnel.
The Devils lost running backs coach Larry Porter to the University of Texas on Wednesday.
"When you win some ballgames and your staff does a good job that's going to happen," Patterson stated. "They came after [Porter], threw a whole lot of money at him as they can at UT and it's a good opportunity for him and so he took it. So congratulations to him. It's good for him and his family."
Patterson isn't concerned about filling the running backs coach vacancy and said he expects to have a lot of candidates interested in working alongside Graham.
"I don't think we're going to have a lot of trouble with that," Patterson said. "People are excited to work for Todd Graham. People are excited to be associated with ASU and the success we're having now and the good culture that [Graham] and his staff are building down there."
Despite Porter's exit, Patterson doesn't expect to see a flurry of coaches leaving. In fact, he believes his head coach isn't looking to move on to greener pastures, despite a history that would say otherwise.
Graham spent a year at Rice, four at Tulsa and then just one year at Pittsburgh before bolting for Arizona State.
"I think he's a great fit for ASU in terms of style," Patterson explained. "His family likes it here, his family is involved here. I don't see him leaving. He doesn't want to leave.
"It's a good fit for us. It's a good fit for him and I think we can build something great here together."
Graham boasts a 57-34 head coaching record at the collegiate level and is 3-1 in bowl games.