Aug 28, 2021; Pasadena, California, USA; Hawaii Rainbow Warriors  head coach Todd Graham reacts at the end of the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

News Articles

Todd Graham resigns as Hawaii head coach

Todd Graham resigned as Hawaii’s head coach, the school announced Friday night.

The move is the latest in an offseason saga that saw several former Rainbow Warriors players testify before the state senate last week that Graham created an abusive culture within the program.

As many as 19 players reportedly entered the transfer portal following the end of Hawaii’s season, including starting quarterback Chevan Cordeiro and defensive back Michael Graham — the coach’s son. A number of players took to a Twitter Spaces room in early December to voice their frustrations over Todd Graham’s supposed verbal abuse and favoritism toward first-team players.

Those claims led the state senate to call the hearing.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve as the head football coach at the University of Hawaii for the past two seasons,” Graham, 57, said in a statement. “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.”

Athletic director David Matlin added in a statement, “Todd informed me of his decision to resign. 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.”

The statement added that the school would immediately begin looking for Graham’s successor.

Hawaii was 11-11 in two seasons under Graham. The Rainbow Warriors went 6-7 this season and were slated to play Memphis in the Hawaii Bowl before COVID-19 issues within the program caused the school to pull out of the game. Hawaii beat Houston 28-14 in the New Mexico Bowl in 2020.

Graham is 106-72 in his 14-year career. Along with Hawaii, Graham has coached at Rice, Tulsa, Pittsburgh and Arizona State. His teams are 6-4 in bowl games.

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