GRAHAM JOINS TENNESSEE COACHING STAFF
Vols letterman returns to alma mater to coach running backs
Tennessee head football coach Derek Dooley announced today the addition of Vols letterman Jay Graham to the Tennessee coaching staff as the running backs coach. Graham, most recently the running backs/tight ends coach at South Carolina, fills the vacancy on the staff created by the departure of associate head coach/wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett, who will not return to his position for the 2012 season.
“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,” said Dooley. “Jay understands what it means to be a Vol, and we are thrilled to have him on our staff.”
Graham has spent the last three years on the coaching staff at South Carolina (2009-11) and coached sophomore running back Marcus Lattimore, who has rushed for a combined 2,015 yards and 27 touchdowns during his first two seasons with the Gamecocks. Lattimore was on pace to become the first South Carolina back to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons since Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers posted three consecutive from 1978-80 before an injury sidelined Lattimore for the final five games. South Carolina ranked third in the SEC this season with 198.0 rushing yards per game.
“I am thankful to Coach Dooley for giving me the opportunity to return to Tennessee,” said Graham. “Tennessee is a program with great football tradition and fan support, and I am honored to join the coaching staff for the Vols.”
As a player for Tennessee, Graham rushed for 2,609 yards as a Vol from 1993-96 and ranks seventh all-time on the Vols’ career rushing chart. His most prolific season was in 1995, when he rushed for 1,438 yards on 272 carries, the second-highest rushing total in a season in UT history and the third-most attempts by a Vol running back in one year. Graham earned All-SEC Second Team honors as both a junior and a senior in 1995 and 1996, respectively, and helped the Vols to three bowl victories.
Graham’s 1995 total of 11 100-yard games is the most in Tennessee history in a single season and included a school-record nine consecutive 100-yard rushing efforts. He also posted 14 100-yard games in his Tennessee career, a total that ranks only behind Travis Henry (15) in school history. Additionally, Graham’s 25 rushing touchdowns rank tied for ninth on the Tennessee career list, and he rushed for a career-high 211 yards against Vanderbilt on Nov. 25, 1995.