EWU assistant Graham a finalist for Central Washington head coach

Eastern Washington University defensive coordinator and associate head coach John Graham is a finalist for the head coaching position at Central Washington, Graham said Wednesday.

Graham, 44, a defensive back at Central in 1990-91, graduated in 1992 and was an assistant for the Wildcats for 13 years under Mike Dunbar, Jeff Zenisek and John Zamberlin.

"It's always been a dream of mine to be a head coach," said Graham, who applied for the position when Zamberlin was hired by Idaho State in 2006, and was a finalist at CWU before his current head coach, Beau Baldwin was hired. When Baldwin was hired a year later by Eastern Washington a year later, Graham followed him to Cheney.

Graham, in his sixth year as defensive coordinator and associate head coach, is preparing the Eagle defense for a quarterfinal FCS playoff game Saturday against Jacksonville State. He said that he will interview next week with CWU athletic director Dennis Francois.


The other finalists are Chris Tormey, a Spokane native and former head coach at Idaho and Nevada; Ian Shoemaker, an assistant coach at St. Cloud (Minn.); and Mat Taylor, the head coach at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash.

A new coach is expected to be hired around Jan. 1, Graham said.


Graham was Central's defensive coordinator from 1996-2007.  He served as secondary coach in 1995, and in 1997 served as interim head coach for a three-month period. He also served as recruiting coordinator, travel coordinator and camp coordinator at different times during his tenure.


Graham helped Central to an 89-51 overall record with five conference championships and the NAIA title in 1995.


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Jim Allen
Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, women's basketball and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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