Report: ASU extends coach Graham through ’18

Arizona State has agreed on contract extensions for football coach Todd Graham and athletic director Steve Patterson through 2018, a person familiar with the deals told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday because the contracts have not been made public yet.

The deals still must be approved by the state board of regents later this month.

Graham’s salary will be increased from $2.05 million to $2.3 million on July 1. There will be annual increases until it reaches $2.6 million in 2016. There are smaller increases in 2017 and 2018. It also includes numerous performance bonuses. His contract had run through the end of the 2016 season.

Graham was hired by Arizona State in 2011 after one season at Pittsburgh, and he led the Sun Devils to eight wins and their first bowl win since 2005. The Sun Devils are ranked No. 23 after opening this season 2-0.

Patterson was hired as chief operating officer of athletics in 2011 and replaced Lisa Love as AD last year.

Graham had been derided for leaving Pittsburgh so quickly with a history of not sticking around at jobs for very long.

Arizona State was his fourth head coaching job, but he quickly won over Arizona State’s players, administration and fans with his high-octane style of play and enthusiasm.

The fast-talking Texan instilled a level of discipline within the program that had been missing under previous coach Dennis Erickson and won over fans by stumping for the program almost like a politician.

Behind his up-tempo offense and attacking defense, the Sun Devils finished 8-5 last season, overcoming a four-game losing streak to win the final three games of the season, the first time that’s happened in Tempe since 1978. Arizona State won what Graham called the biggest game on the schedule with a comeback victory over rival Arizona and finished with a flourish, setting numerous records while beating Navy 62-28 in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Arizona State blew out FCS opponent Sacramento State in its opening game this season and followed that with one of the program’s biggest victories in recent years on Saturday night, a 32-30 victory over then-No. 20 Wisconsin.

Patterson, who previously worked as president of Pro Sports Consulting, has been out front in leading Arizona State’s development of a new sports facility district that will include a renovated Sun Devil Stadium.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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About Cliff Freeman

Cliff has been covering College Football since 2003 and has traveled to nearly every championship game in the past decade. He has extensive experience covering the Southeastern Conference as well as the other BCS conferences. His wealth of knowledge and ability to quickly report on the top stories in the sport make him a valuable asset to the AST Team.