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.