Tulsa's Todd Graham Gets New 10-Year Contract with the Hurricane
Jan. 1, 2009
Tulsa, Oklahoma - University of Tulsa Head Football Coach Todd Graham has agreed to a new 10-year contract, it was announced today by Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. The contract, terms of which were not disclosed, runs through the 2018-19 academic year.
"We want to win championships at The University of Tulsa, and in football we want to also compete for an opportunity to win a BCS Bowl Game. Todd Graham is the coach who can continue to take the Tulsa football program to even higher levels than what he's already accomplished," said Cunningham.
"This 10-year agreement obviously shows the strong belief that the University administration has in Todd, and it also shows Todd's commitment to maintaining a championship program," added Cunningham.
"It has been very evident over the past six years that our administration at The University of Tulsa is totally committed to a top-notch football program," said Graham. "We are not going to shy away from the fact that we want to be champions -- academic champions, conference champions, bowl champions and BCS bowl champions.
"This is another way of our administration showing their tremendous support for me, our coaching staff and our entire football program. We've said all along that we're building something special here and we have a lot to build upon. We have a great nucleus of student-athletes, outstanding tradition, tremendous support and great success on the football field," added Graham.
"Naturally, I'm really appreciative of the University for making this 10-year commitment to our football family," said Graham. "I'd like to thank Dr. Upham, the Board of Trustees and Bubba Cunningham for their belief in me, our staff and our program. It means an awful lot to our football staff that University is willing to make this commitment to us. Leadership matters, and their leadership has been incredible. I'm proud to be associated with The University of Tulsa."
In two seasons as head coach, Graham has guided the Hurricane to a 20-7 record, two straight appearances in the C-USA Football Championship Game and back-to-back GMAC Bowl invitations. Graham is the only coach in school history to lead two teams to 10-win seasons, and he accomplished that feat in consecutive years, 2007 and 2008.
"My wife and I and our coaches love being in Tulsa, and especially at one of the best times there is to be a Golden Hurricane -- coming off back-to-back 10 win seasons. It speaks volumes about the University's commitment when they'll make this type of long-term commitment to my family, my staff and me. We're very appreciative and very excited about the Golden Hurricane football program," added Graham.
"This makes a bold statement to our recruits and the football community that there is great stability in The University of Tulsa football program. We have a tremendous support staff of boosters, alumni lettermen and fans that want to build this program into a top-15 program nationally year-in and year-out. Naturally for our recruits, it makes a great statement to them about the stability of our staff and future of our program," added Graham.
Graham came to Tulsa as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator in 2003 with Steve Kragthorpe. After helping the Golden Hurricane turn a one-win season into an eight-win campaign in their first season, he then helped Tulsa post a 9-5 record, Conference USA Championship and AutoZone Liberty Bowl Championship in 2005. Graham left the Hurricane to become the head coach at Rice for the 2006 campaign, and returned to Tulsa a year later as head coach.
In 2007, Graham led his first Tulsa team to a 10-4 record and a 63-7 victory over Bowling Green in the GMAC Bowl, the largest win margin in NCAA Bowl history. The Hurricane led the nation in total offense with an average of 543.9 yards per game, while setting 29 school records, 15 C-USA marks and four NCAA records.
This season the Hurricane used a balanced offensive attack and a solid run defense in posting its 10-3 record. Tulsa ranked among the nation's top-10 for total offense, pass offense, scoring offense, rush offense and passing efficiency. The Hurricane defense also ranked 44th nationally in run defense and 12th for quarterback sacks.
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