The place hasn’t changed a bit.
Thank you Sun Devil White Mountain Club.
Thank you Arizona State Alumni.
Thank you Steve Patterson.
Thank you Todd Graham for help making it possible.
ASU returned to its roots last week at Camp Tontozona. Four intense days in the middle of the forest, a dozen or so miles outside of Payson.
No distractions, just football.
When Dennis Erickson convinced Lisa Love that Camp T was too much of hassle, the disconnect widened between the Sun Devil program and former players, coaches and staff who worked hard to make Tontozona what is was.
Now there’s direction.
Graham’s re-connected eras whether talking with former players and coaches, sitting in the student section for the UofA-ASU basketball game last spring, or teaching new Sun Devil students the fight song this week.
I don’t know if he can coach his way out of a paper bag much less make ASU an annual contender, but you can’t help but notice what he’s done for the program since his controversial hiring nine months ago. I equate it to buying and gutting a house. He’s re-designed offices, re-painted walls, done endless interviews. He’s given Sun Devil football a facelift and more importantly, an identity.
I’m not concerned with many games this team wins because regardless of where they land in the Pac-12 standings at the end of November, I know I will see great effort and accountability on the field and off. One thing is clear. Graham and the coaches are in charge, not vice versa.
To Graham, tradition is important which brings me back to Tontozona.
There’s a reason for Mount Kush and Tillman Rock at Camp T. A bond from the past, to the present, to the future.
Camp T brought plenty of blood, sweat, and tears. Those three components help form champions.
Maybe Todd Graham can help make the Devils champions, again.