By: Steve Conn
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Pat Graham is going to be the only Yale graduate to coach in multiple Super Bowls after Sunday’s New England-Seattle matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Graham, a Waterbury native who helped the Bulldogs win a 1999 Ivy League championship, was an assistant in 2012 when the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. He graduated from Yale in 2001.
Graham is back again as the linebackers coach for New England, which won the AFC East, beat Baltimore and Indianapolis in the playoffs and is looking for its first NFL title since 2005.
The first Bulldog to coach in a Super Bowl was Don Martin, who was a defensive assistant with the Oakland Raiders from 1998 to 2003. Martin graduated from Yale in 1971. His 2002 Raiders fell to Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII in San Diego. Martin played in the NFL, returned to his alma mater to work for his coach, Carm Cozza, and then returned to pro football as a coach. He is no longer working in pro football.
Six different Bulldogs have played in a combined eight Super Bowls. The last Yale graduate to play in a Super Bowl was Ken Hill ’80, who helped the Giants defeat the Denver Broncos in the Rose Bowl in 1987. Bulldogs have won five of the nine world championship games they’ve played in.
Yale’s first Super Bowl coaching victory could be Sunday.
Graham’s coaching career has taken him to five different Division I programs prior to joining Bill Belichick’s staff in 2009.
He served as a graduate assistant at Wagner (2002-03) and then spent three seasons at Richmond, serving as the defensive line coach in 2004 and the tight ends coach in 2005 and 2006. He was a graduate assistant at Notre Dame in 2007 and 2008 prior to joining the Patriots.