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Happy Trails to Doug Graber

Not gonna lie… most of my time the last few days hasn’t necessarily been keeping up with college football. That’s mostly because the days after National Signing Day is a virtual wasteland in terms of breaking news, but this year the responsibility for my lack of with-it-ness is because of the inches and inches of snow dropped on the metro DC area. As if last Thursday’s 28 inches or so wasn’t enough, we’re staring at another 20 inches dropped on our area tonight. In case you’ve never been in a situation like that, surrounded by people who can neither drive in it nor function at all in it, do yourself a favor and never ever get caught in it. It is tres suxorz, trust me.

What is also tres suxorz is when a week after signing day, your defensive coordinator bids your team adieu. Such is the case for Ball State’s Doug Graber, who it was announced yesterday wouldn’t be returning to the Cardinals in the fall. The release from BSU? Have at it…

Doug Graber, who spent the 2009 football season as Ball State’s defensive coordinator, has announced his retirement, according to Ball State head football coach Stan Parrish.

“I have had a number of personal family issues that have come up and made this decision one that is necessary for me at this time,” Graber says. “I truly enjoyed my time at Ball State and will miss the young men and the staff for whom I have a great amount of respect. Coach Parrish gave me a great opportunity and we are lifelong friends, so I will always treasure this year we had together at Ball State. We had a lot of young kids on defense, and I truly believe we continued to improve throughout the year. The time was just right for my wife and I to return to Florida to take care of our family.”

Graber completed his 35th year as a football coach last fall for the Cardinals. He was also a member of the Ball State football coaching staff in 1976 when the Cardinals won their first Mid-American Conference Championship, and was a defensive assistant on the 1977 team which ranked ninth in the nation in total defense. In his career, Graber also served as the head coach at Montana State (1982), Rutgers (1990-95) and for the Frankfurt Galaxy (2001-03) in NFL Europe. He coached in the National Football League for the Kansas City Chiefs (1983-86), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1987-89) and New York Jets (2004). Graber coached six NFL All-Pro defensive backs with the Chiefs and served as Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator in 1988 when the team led the NFL in rushing defense. He compiled a 68-58-3 overall head coaching record at the high school, college and professional level.

“Coach Graber was a great fit for our staff and was an outstanding mentor to our defensive coaches,” Parrish says. “We will miss his contributions to the team, but he has his priorities in order and is doing what his best for his family. He will always be considered a part of the Ball State family and we wish him well in his retirement.”

The search for a new defensive coordinator will begin immediately, according to Parrish. The Cardinals begin Spring Practice March 24.

Graber led the Cards’ defense last season through quite the frustrating fall, as (statistically) the Cardinals were nowhere near good enough to stop teams, win games, or do anything remotely resembling what they were known for over the last few seasons. Who’s next? Who knows. The fans seem to think current defensive ends coach Jay Hood, but a growing portion are hoping that BSU perhaps reaches beyond its comfort zone for a younger, fiery, energetic coach, perhaps reminiscent of one Brady Hoke.


One Response

  1. Hi Doug. I hope you are well and happy.

    Jack Vasko

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