Arizona State head coach Todd Graham shared a ton of valuable information for high school coaches during an hour-and-a-half speech at the Nike Coach of the Year Clinic in Tunica, MS., on Friday.
An estimated crowd of 300+ coaches gained insight on the unique aspects of the Sun Devils’ program and defensive strategies against no-huddle offenses.
One of the most interesting points that Graham hammered home to his audience was the importance of position coaches having unbelievably strong relationships with their players.
Graham said at the Gold Strike Resort and Casino, “Our coaches have zero football responsibilities on Mondays and Fridays during the spring.”
The Sun Devils assistants don’t evaluate high school prospects, don’t work on schemes, and don’t breakdown future opponents. The sole focus on Mondays and Fridays during the spring is on developing stronger relationships with the current players on the Sun Devils’ roster.
Go to lunch with a player. Go bowling on campus with a player. Walk to class with a player. Just talk about life, goals, family, or academics. Talk anything but football.
The stronger the relationships, the more the players will be invested.
It’s part of the reason why the Sun Devils have raised their team GPA from 2.2 to 2.8 since Graham and his staff arrived in Tempe.
It’s also part of the reason why the Sun Devils won the PAC-12 south championship and Graham was recognized as the PAC-12 Coach of the Year in 2013.