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The college football coaching carousel took another turn Friday with the resignation of Hawaii head coach Todd Graham.
Graham’s departure comes as 20 players from the program sit in the transfer portal, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and starting running back Dae Dae Hunter.
“Todd informed me of his decision to resign,” Hawaii athletic director David Matlin said in a statement. “We enjoyed many successes under his leadership even as he faced pandemic conditions, the withdrawal of Aloha Stadium, and the prohibition of any fans for nearly all his time with us.
“Todd’s tireless efforts as a coach have made a positive impact on many student-athletes. We have talked at length, and it is clear he has taken this action so that the football program can thrive moving forward.”
Graham went 11-11 in two seasons after taking over from Nick Rolovich in 2019. The last month has been mired in controversy, with allegations of verbal abuse raining down from multiple players.
“I would go as far to say it’s verbal abuse the way he talks to guys. … It’s personal. It’s not like, ‘Oh, you need to be faster.’ He’s calling guys useless, jackass and a sack of s—t,” one player said to SFGate.
“Me and a lot of others can truthfully say Graham has killed our love and passion for football,” another said.
Graham’s alleged abuse made its way to the state Senate last week, where Graham denied being abusive.
“No one has been verbally abused,” he said.
Graham issued a lengthy statement on his way out, grateful for his time at Hawaii.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the Head Football Coach at the University of Hawai’i for the past two seasons. After much prayer and reflection with my family, I have come to the conclusion that I will step away as head coach of the Rainbow Warriors, with a very heavy heart. I want to give my thanks and appreciation to 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 did things the right way.
“Our staff poured our hearts and souls into our players and truly made a difference in their lives. I could not have asked more of their commitment, work ethic and love for our players and football program. But it is clear to me that I must step away and do what is best for me and my family and my health. I honor, value and love all of my players and coaches and I wish you the very best. The University has not asked me to step down. I am leaving solely for my family and my health. We have laid a strong foundation for future success, and I will always be cheering you on!
“May God Bless You.”
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