Boise State hires Graham
March 27, 2002
BOISE, Idaho - Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier has announced the hiring of Greg Graham as Boise State's sixth head men's basketball coach in the school's 34 years as a four-year institution and the 17th head coach since the schools founding in 1932. Graham replaces Rod Jensen who was removed from his position on March 8.
Graham comes to Boise State after spending the past five years as the top assistant at the University of Oregon. The 46-year old Graham helped lead Oregon to the Pac-10 regular-season championship this year, as well as a spot in the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament. Graham also helped the Ducks to a NCAA tournament bid in 2000 and a NIT Final Four appearance in 1999.
Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent referred to Graham as his team's 'offensive guru.' Oregon finished this season ranked third in the country in scoring, averaging 85.9 points per game, behind only Kansas and Duke. The Ducks also finished fourth in the nation in scoring margin with a 14.5 point per game advantage over its opponents.
At Oregon, in addition to handling the Ducks offense, Graham was the team's recruiting coordinator, directed game and practice organization, coordinated all aspects of game preparation and served as the scouting coordinator as well as budget administrator. His 2000 recruiting class was ranked 25th in the nation and number-one in the West.
'I couldn't be happier with the addition of Greg,' Bleymaier said. 'He will install a high powered offense that will be exciting and entertaining. He possess all the qualities we were looking for in a head coach.'
'I was very excited when Gene called,' Graham said. 'I think Boise State is a great place to be and I'm happy and excited that Gene and Dr. (Charles) Ruch picked me to be here. (The WAC) is a great conference, I've been in the league before so I know alot of the schools and coaches. I'm looking forward to moving here and getting started as quickly as we can.'
Graham served as an assistant to Kent for the last ten seasons. Before coaching at Oregon, Graham spent five seasons at St. Mary's College. While at the West Coast Conference school, not only did he serve the same roles as he did at Oregon, but he was also the academic liaison for the program that graduated 26 of 28 players.
During his career, Graham also spent time as an assistant at Oregon (1982-83), New Mexico (1983-84), San Jose State (1985-89), San Diego State (1989-92). He was the head coach at Western New Mexico during the 1984-85 season where he led his team to an 18-5 record.
Graham graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1978. He also earned a Masters Degree from the University of Dayton in Educational Administration in 1982. He started his coaching career as an assistant at Marist High School in Eugene, Oregon, in 1978 and was the head coach at Louisville High School in Louisville, Ohio, from 1979-1982.
KENT COMMENTS ON BOISE STATE'S HIRING OF UO ASSISTANT GREG GRAHAM
'I think it's a wonderful opportunity for coach Graham and his family. It just seems like it's a fabulous job and certainly well-deserved. He's been at this a very, very long time and has just been so loyal and relentless in terms of his work ethic and everything, that it just means a lot to me to see him finally get rewarded for being so good and so diligent in this business for so long.'
'I'm happy for him and (his wife) Marsha both because I think it's an excellent opportunity for them and a great city where some former Oregon Ducks have already gone over there in the football program and have had success in that environment. I think it's only fitting that basketball can go over there and have success, too, because I think he'll do an outstanding job.'
'At the same time, I think the mark of any successful program is when people are coming after your assistants and we certainly have had that in the past . . . It just tells me that we're doing something right when can not only have success on the floor, but then guys are getting those types of opportunities as well, and I think that says a lot about our program.'
'(Graham) is a guy who has had the opportunity to become well-rounded in all areas -- offensively, defensively, recruiting-wise -- all aspects of running a program. He has the ability. He's ready for this job and he will do a great job for them.'