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The Early Lead
Posted at 04:33 PM ET, 12/15/2011

Todd Graham’s move to Arizona State stuns Pittsburgh; Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy named national coach of the year

Only 11 months after he arrived at Pittsburgh promising to lead the Panthers back to national prominence, head coach Todd Graham has resigned, leaving his players and the community shell-shocked.

Does the trident suit Todd Graham? (Christian Petersen - Getty Images)
Graham announced his decision to step down on Wednesday to take over the head coaching position at Arizona State. Now, for the second straight season, an interim coach will lead the Panthers into their season-ending bowl game.

The reactions from Pittsburgh players indicated just how surprising the announcement was for a team that finished 6-6, but closed the season strong, with three wins and two losses to West Virginia and Cincinnati by a combined four points.

With Graham out the door, the Panthers will begin the hunt for their fourth coach in 13 months.

Mike Gundy has gone from being “a man” to being “the man.” (Mike Stone - Reuters)
Meantime, one coach who a few years ago made his dedication to his players abundantly clear in one of the most memorable press conferencs of the last decade, was rewarded for his loyalty and his team’s success this fall.

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy earned the Eddie Robinson Award on Thursday, an honor given by the Football Writers Association of America to the national coach of the year.

The Cowboys finished the season 11-1, winning their first Big 12 championship and earning their first BCS bowl berth. Gundy’s third-ranked squad takes on No. 4 Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2.

LSU’s Les Miles, Kansas State’s Bill Snyder; Michigan’s Brady Hoke and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney were the other finalists for the award.

In honor of Mr. Gundy, here’s another look at that famous presser. Gundy is now 44, and yes, he’s still a man. Todd Graham might want to watch this video, too...


Pittsburgh tries to regroup after Graham’s stunning departure

Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy named national coach of the year

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