Jay Graham

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Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator

• Jay Graham enters his fourth season at Florida State in 2016, and third as both the running backs coach and special teams coordinator. The former All-SEC and NFL running back has coached the running backs in all three of his seasons at Florida State, including current NFL players Karlos Williams (Buffalo Bills), Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Falcons) and James Wilder Jr. (Buffalo Bills), as well as 2015 All-American Dalvin Cook.

• Under Graham’s tutelage, Cook authored the greatest season by a running back in Florida State history in 2015 by setting school records for rushing yards (1,691) and total yards (1,935) while collecting the Jim Brown Award, given to the nation’s top running back by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Cook finished the year as the only player nationally to rank in the top 10 in the following offensive categories: rush yards/carry (2nd), rushing yards/game (5th), all-purpose yards (6th), rushing yards (6th), rushing touchdowns (8th) and scoring (10th). Cook tallied six 150-yard rushing games in 2015 including two 200-yard games (266 vs. USF, 222 vs. Miami). Cook’s 2015 season came on the heels of an outstanding freshman campaign that saw the Miami, Fla., native become the first Seminole to break the 1,000-yard barrier (1,008). He rushed for 100 yards in the final three games of the 2014 season, including 177 in an MVP performance in the ACC Championship Game.

• Graham also prepped true freshman running back Jacques Patrick for a standout performance when Cook missed the Syracuse game with an injury. Patrick rushed for 162 yards and three touchdowns and recorded six catches for 62 yards against the Orange in his first career start.

• Williams was selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, completing an impressive transition from safety to running back under the guidance of Graham. Freeman was a fourth-round selection by the Falcons in 2014 and has emerged as one of the NFL’s top running backs after his Pro Bowl season in 2015. Wilder enters his third season in his professional career, signing with the Bills in the offseason.

• Graham also coached South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who posted consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons, before being selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.

• A native of Concord, N.C., Graham was a standout All-SEC running back from 1993-96 at Tennessee, rushing for 2,609 yards and totaling 14 career 100-yard games. Graham earned All-SEC second team honors as both a junior and a senior and helped the Vols to three bowl victories.

• Following his successful career at Tennessee, Graham was a third-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 1997. He spent six seasons in the NFL with Baltimore, Seattle, and Green Bay.

• Graham has spent 11 years coaching, including three seasons in the SEC at South Carolina and two at his alma mater, Tennessee. He began his coaching career in 2005 as a graduate assistant with the Vols before returning in 2012 as the running backs coach.

• Graham has lost just four games since joining the Seminoles in 2013, guiding the Seminoles to 27 consecutive victories to open his career with Florida State. FSU is 37-4 since the start of the 2013 season.

• Before Graham arrived in Tallahassee, no Seminole had rushed for 1,000 yards in a season since Warrick Dunn in 1996. Graham has seen a running back eclipse that mark every year since he arrived, beginning with Devonta Freeman’s 1,016-yard campaign in 2013 and followed by Cook’s back-to-back record breaking seasons.

• Graham has also done a fantastic job as FSU’s special teams coordinator for the past two seasons. Senior punter Cason Beatty saw incredible improvement his senior year and led the ACC in punting average (45.2 yards per punt) in 2015. Redshirt junior kicker Roberto Aguayo wrapped up one of the greatest careers ever for a collegiate kicker by grabbing All-America first team honors for the third consecutive season. He left FSU as the most accurate kicker in college football history with a .9673 conversion rate. He made all 198 of his extra point attempts and 69-of-78 field goals. He became the highest drafted kicker since 2005 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Aguayo was also one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award in 2014 after drilling 27 of 30 field goals and all 55 extra points in Graham’s first year as the Noles’ special teams coordinator.

• One of Graham’s most impressive coaching jobs came with Williams. Graham oversaw the conversion of Williams from defensive back to running back in 2013, a move that saw Williams rack up 22 rushing touchdowns and finish ninth on the Seminoles all-time list before joining the NFL.

• Graham’s first year of work at Florida State resulted in a tremendous ground attack that helped the Seminoles go undefeated (14-0) and have one of the most productive offenses in college football history, as the Seminoles set an FBS record for points in a season (723). Graham was influential in the continued progression of Freeman. Freeman registered 1,016 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns, while Williams broke through with 730 yards rushing and added 11 scores as he averaged an astounding eight yards per carry. Rounding out the trio was Wilder Jr., who totaled 563 yards and eight scores while averaging seven yards per tote. FSU set a school record with 42 rushing touchdowns.

• Graham’s influence on both the kickoff return and kickoff coverage units in 2013 cannot be understated. Working with Charles Kelly, Florida State finished first in the nation averaging 28.2 yards per kickoff return, and wound up 16th nationally allowing just 18.6 yards per kickoff return. Kermit Whitfield emerged as the nation’s top kick returner, leading the country and setting the ACC record with 36.4 yards per return while finishing tied for second with two kickoff return TDs.

• Throughout the majority of his coaching career, Graham has worked with running backs. His first full-time position in 2006 was as the running backs coach at Chattanooga. He went on to coach the backs at San Diego, UT-Martin, Miami (Ohio) and South Carolina and then back at his alma mater, Tennessee.

• In just one year in Knoxville under Graham’s guidance, the Vols more than doubled their rushing output from 70.4 yards per game in 2011 to 160.3 yards per game in 2012.

• Prior to his success in Tennessee, Graham tutored Lattimore while with the Gamecocks. Lattimore was on pace to become the first South Carolina rusher to post consecutive 1,000-yard seasons for the school since Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers before suffering an ankle injury that sidelined him for the final five games.

• Overall, Graham has coached and played in eight bowl games during his career.

• Graham and his wife, Kelly, are the parents of three daughters, Nia, Denae and Kierra, and two sons, Jayson and Kellan.