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Graham resigns as Hawaii football coach amid controversy

HONOLULU (AP) — Todd Graham resigned as University of Hawaii football coach on Friday, resigning amid controversy after completing the second year of a five-year contract.

Graham resigned a week after former players and some parents testified before a state legislature hearing, criticizing the coach’s management style and his relationship with players. More than a dozen players entered the transfer portal.

“After many prayers and thoughts with my family, I have come to the conclusion that I will step down as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors with a very heavy heart,” Graham said in a statement released by the university. “I want to acknowledge and thank the players, staff and coaches who persevered through all the challenges of 2020 and 2021. It wasn’t easy but they all fought the good fight and we got it right. the right way.

“Our staff put their heart and soul into our players and really made a difference in their lives. I couldn’t have asked for more of their commitment, work ethic and love for our players and our football program. But it’s clear to me that I have to walk away and do what’s best for me, my family and my health. I honour, appreciate and love all my players and coaches and wish you the best. The University did not ask me to resign. I’m only leaving for my family and my health. We have laid a solid foundation for future success, and I will always cheer you on!”

Graham, 57, led Hawaii to a 6-7 overall record this season and a 4-7 record in the Mountain West after going 5-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference in its first season. He was previously a head coach at Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State.

“Todd has informed me of his decision to resign,” sporting director David Matlin said in a statement. “We had many successes under his leadership even as he faced pandemic conditions, removal from Aloha Stadium and being banned from all fans for most of his time with us.

“Todd’s tireless efforts as a coach have had a positive impact on many student-athletes. We have spoken at length, and it is clear that he has taken this step so that the football program can thrive in the future. to come up.”

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