Gamecock running backs coach Graham leaves for Tennessee

Jay Graham (Source:
Jay Graham (Source:

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WIS) - University of South Carolina running backs coach Jay Graham is leaving his post with the team to join the Tennessee Volunteers in a similar role, coach Derek Dooley announced Tuesday.

Graham has spent the past 3 years as the running backs and tight ends coach at South Carolina, where he coached Marcus Lattimore. The sophomore had rushed for 2,015 yards and 27 touchdowns in a season and a half before being sidelined by a knee injury.

"Jay is not only one of the most accomplished running backs in Tennessee history, but he has also proven to be one of the top running backs coaches in the SEC," said Dooley. "Jay understands what it means to be a Vol, and we are thrilled to have him on our staff."

As a Vols tailback from 1993-96, Graham rushed for 2,609 yards and 25 touchdowns. His 1,438 yards rushing in 1995, which included 11 100-yard games, ranks as the second-best season in Tennessee history.

He spent 6 seasons in the NFL.

Head Coach Steve Spurrier reacted to Graham's departure late Tuesday afternoon. "Coach Graham did an excellent job here for the past three years," said Gamecock head coach Steve Spurrier. "He told me that coaching at his alma mater is something he wanted to do. He's a very good coach and an outstanding person. We wish him the best in his coaching career."

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

Tennessee has not had a running backs coach under Dooley. Graham filled a staff vacancy created when wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett retired last week.

Graham will not take part in the Gamecocks' bowl preparations. Carolina (10-2) is slated to face the Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3) in the Capital One Bowl on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Orlando, Fla.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.