Todd Graham explains why he hired Chip Lindsey as offensive coordinator

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday December 13, 2015

Todd Graham says Arizona State won’t have to change offensive terminology with the hire of Chip Lindsey as offensive coordinator. Graham was able to stay within the same coaching tree after the departure of Mike Norvell to Memphis.

Lindsey spent the past two years coordinating Southern Miss’ offense after one year as an offensive analyst at Auburn. There, he learned under Gus Malzahn, who worked under Graham. At ASU, it's the same deal.

“It’s very exciting to get someone from my coaching family and is such a great teacher,” Graham said. “He embodies what we’re all about. The great thing is he studied in our system. Our kids don’t need to learn new terminology. Excited about the explosive plays, and what he did this year is phenomenal. He’s got a background in teaching, and I like that he’s been a head coach. He’s just a perfect fit for us.”

It was a short turnaround, as Graham balanced recruiting with interviewing candidates for the job. Lindsey’s name kept rising to the top, and he was hired a week after Norvell left. They didn't have much of a relationship beforehand, but talked the same language. 

It’s been a quick rise for Lindsey who was an Alabama high school coach as recently as 2012. Graham liked Lindsey's background as a high school teacher there. He took over USM’s play-calling this season, and the Golden Eagles had the most improved scoring offense in the country.

For Lindsey, this was an opportunity he desperately wanted.

“When this thing started and I got a chance to talk with (Graham), it was just a great opportunity, one of those deals where I want to get on this as quick as I can,” Lindsey said. “I probably recruited him as much as anything. I want to be here. This is a great place. Very familiar with my time working with other guys he’s been around.”

CHART: What Chip Lindsey brings to Arizona State

At Southern Miss, Lindsey worked in an Air Raid style under Todd Monken. Graham likes that not only to add it to ASU’s arsenal, but to better defend it. Graham calls ASU’s defensive plays.

Lindsey will coach quarterbacks leading into ASU’s bowl game and will take over coordinating duties after the game. Coaches are moving between jobs quicker than ever, and getting to ASU for bowl prep is a head-start on spring.

“It’s a new job with new people, but overall, I expect this to be a seamless transition,” Lindsey said. “Being here for bowl practices is a huge advantage. It’s like a second spring ball and get to know these guys, so when we do go to spring ball, they already know who I am.”

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to