The South Carolina football team lost their running backs coach, Jay Graham, today to the University of Tennessee.
Graham will take on the same role at UT, where he rushed for 2,609 yards from 1993-1996 as a Vol football player. Graham, one of the Gamecocks best recruiters, had been in Columbia three years. USC ranked third in the SEC with 198 rushing yards/game this past season.
Graham played six seasons in the NFL after leaving the Volunteers. He also has coached at Miami (Ohio), UT-Martin, San Diego and Chattanooga.
He will not coach the Gamecocks in the Capital One Bowl, he told The State newspaper. Graham coached at South Carolina for three years.
“Jay is not only one of the most accomplished running backs in Tennessee history, but he has also proven to be one of the top running backs coaches in the SEC,” UT Coach Derek Dooley said in a release. “Jay understands what it means to be a Vol, and we are thrilled to have him on our staff.”
There are no known candidates at this time but Coach Spurrier had this to say on his departure:
“Coach Graham did an excellent job here for the past three years. He told me that coaching at his alma mater is something he wanted to do. He’s a very good coach and an outstanding person. We wish him the best in his coaching career.”
This is a big blow for USC due to Graham’s relationship with current players and potential recruits. USC will have to move quickly due to the recruiting game and the upcoming bowl game. At least you would think.
We wish Graham the best in the new chapter and as you can see it was hard to say no to his old school despite the recent Gamecock successes. Who can blame him really.