MORGANTOWN, West Virginia – University of West Virginia Football Coach Neal brown announced the hiring of Graham Harrell as the Mountaineers’ offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Brown also announced additional changes to the offensive staff which will include Gerad Parker as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach, and Chad Scott, the running game coordinator and running back coach.
“I have followed Graham’s playing and coaching career for a while, and there is no doubt that he is a talented coach with a bright future,” said Brown. “He has a successful track record as a game caller, has done an outstanding job of developing quarterbacks and is a proven winner. His character, competitiveness and positive energy are a perfect fit for our program. He brings experience. Power 5 coach and a vast knowledge of the Big 12. I know he can’t wait to start, to meet our staff and our players.
“Since the end of the season I have spent time reflecting on the program and taking responsibility, knowing that we have to be better offensively,” said Brown. “I’ve had the dual role of offensive coordinator and head coach, and we need to bring in another voice for the offense. To have Graham as the offensive coordinator and work with Gerad as leader # 2 in the attacking room, as he has done, will make us a better and more efficient offense and point us in the direction we need to go. In turn, this will allow me to be a more effective CEO of the Mountaineer football program. . “
Harrell comes to WVU after serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at USC for the past three years (2019-21).
“I am delighted to join Neal brownof West Virginia and become a part of the Mountaineer football program, “said Harrell.” This program has a long and successful history with a lot of tradition, and I have so much respect for the state of West Virginia, its people. and their values. I think this is perfect for me and my family as Neal and I know or have worked with a lot of the same people. I grew up in the Big 12, played there and can’t wait to get back to competition. I look forward to getting to know our players and helping this program make its mark. “
In 2021, USC led the Pac-12 and was No. 17 nationally in pass violation (298.3) and red zone (0.902), No. 20 in third-down conversion percentage and n ° 24 in total infringement (443.9). Receiver Drake London was named the Pac-12 offensive player of the year and earned a spot on several All-America teams.
In 2020, the USC exceedance offense ranked # 11 nationally (first in Pac-12) at 319.3. Quarterback Kedon Slovis was a part of the All-Pac-12 first team while also ranking in the top 20 for completed passes (first at 29.5), passing yards (sixth at 320.2) , Total Offense (# 13 to 310.7) and Completion Percentage (# 18 to 0.670), all Pac-12 highs. Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown was also an All-Pac-12 first teammate.
In Harrell’s first year at USC in 2019, the Trojan’s offense averaged 455.4 total yards (335.8 passing) and 32.5 points – significant improvements compared to 2018, when the numbers were 382.6, 249.1, and 26.1 – while still ranking in the top 25 in completion percentage, pass offense, passing efficiency, total offense, third conversions test and first tests. The 2019 Trojans also set passing scores for the school season for total passing yards (4,365), completion percentage (71.0%), completions (365) and attempts. (514).
Under Harrell’s tutelage, true freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis was a Freshman All-American first teamer and Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, completing an academic record and an NCAA freshman record 71.9% of his passes for a USC record of 3,502 yards with 30 touchdowns, including a school record of 515 passing yards against UCLA (one of four USC records with over 400 passing yards), to rank in the top 20 in completion percentage, passing yards, passes completed, passing efficiency, TD passes and total offense (his passing efficiency rating of 167.9 was a USC record) .
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who won the 2019 Pop Warner College Football Award and was a finalist for the Biletnikoff and Witten Awards, was in the top 20 for receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Prior to his three-year stint at USC, Harrell produced two back-to-back top 25 kills while he was the offensive coordinator at North Texas.
After inheriting an attack that ranked among the country’s last 25 in scores, assists and total attacks in 2015, he helped Mean Green improve statistically in every category in 2016, including 9.6 points per game. Then, in 2017, North Texas was No. 19 nationally in points (35.5), No. 21 in assists (291.9), and No. 24 in all-out offense (455.1) and quarterback. Mason Fine set school season records for passing yards (4,052) and TD (31).
In 2018, UNT ranked No. 12 in passing (306.8), No. 20 in all-out offense (460.5) and No. 26 in scoring (34.6), with fine throws for 3,793 yards and 27 touchdowns with just 5 interceptions, wide receiver Rico Bussey Jr. capturing 68 passes for 1,017 yards with 12 touchdowns and running back DeAndre Torrey scoring 15 rushing touchdowns. Fine was the 2017 and 2018 USA Conference Offensive Player of the Year, while Bussey Jr. was an All-Conference USA first mate in 2018. Tight end Kelvin Smith, who played as tied and tight end in the slot, finished 27 and 29 catching seasons in 2017 and 2018 to rank among the team’s top receivers.
North Texas also ran over 150 yards per game in 2017 and 2018. UNT has won 9 games apiece in Harrell’s last two seasons and qualified for bowl games all three years he was a member of the. staff (2016 Heart of Dallas, 2017 New Orleans, 2018 New Mexico) after UNT had only played in one bowl in the previous 11 seasons.
Harrell came to UNT from Washington State, where he worked for head coach Mike Leach as an outside receivers coach in 2015 after serving as an offensive analyst in 2014. The 2015 Cougars led the nation in passing attack (389.2), won eight games and won the Sunshine Bowl.
Harrell was a record quarterback for Leach at Texas Tech from 2005-2008, ending his career with an NCAA record 134 touchdown passes, the second-most career yards in NCAA history (15 793) and the third career passing average (351.0). He also established career NCAA scores for average passes completed (31.2), as well as most games gaining over 400 passing yards (20), with games gaining over 400 total yards. (21) and seasons gaining over 4,000 total yards (3). His career passing average of 486.3 yards against Texas was an NCAA record against an opponent. In each of his three seasons as a starter, his passing distance numbers ranked in the all-time top 25 at the FBS level (21st in 2006 with 4,555 yards, second in 2007 at 5,705 and sixth in 2008 with 5,111) and was the first player with a pair of 5,000-yard passing seasons.
In 2008, he was a member of the All-American First Team, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy vote, won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, was a finalist for the Walter Camp and Davey O’Brien Awards, and was a National Football Foundation athlete-scholar. . His 5,111 passing yards led the nation and he threw 45 touchdowns with just nine interceptions while completing 70.6% of his jumps. Texas Tech went 11-2, including a victory over No.1 Texas, and played in the Cotton Bowl in 2008.
Harrell played for the CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2009, served as a quality control assistant at Oklahoma State for several months in 2010, before resuming his NFL career. He played three years with the Green Bay Packers (2010-12), most notably on the 2010 Super Bowl XLV Championship team and made a brief stint with the New York Jets in 2013.
He played for his father, Sam, at Ennis High, throwing career Texas records of 12,532 yards and 167 touchdowns. He led Ennis to the State’s Class 4A title in his sophomore year of 2001. As a senior in 2003, he set state records for passing yards, completed passes and touchdowns (4,825 , 334, 67).
Inducted into the Texas Tech Hall of Fame in 2020, Harrell received his BA in History from Texas Tech in 2007.
Harrell and his wife Brittney have 6-year-old son Hawk and daughter Mia. Harrell’s brother Clark played quarterback for Tulsa (2007) and Abilene Christian (2008-10); Clark and his other brother, Zac, are now football coaches in Texas.