Alabama assistant coach Jay Graham resigned on Wednesday, citing mental health reasons.
Graham, who was recently hired to coach special teams and tight ends, indicated he will seek professional help to understand his mental health challenges.
“The events of the past year have taken a toll on millions of people around the world, not only in lost loved ones or lost jobs but in unprecedented anxiety and mental health,” the 45-year-old Graham said in his announcement on Twitter.
“I am taking time away from football to seek professional help immediately, gain a better understanding of mental health and spend time with loved ones. I hope to rebalance my life so I am able to return to my passion of coaching and helping student-athletes pursue their dreams.”
Alabama acknowledged that Graham “resigned his position effective immediately.”
Graham said he intends to help others work on their mental health issues.
“While mental health issues are not new, they are often difficult to discuss, especially for coaches/athletes,” Graham wrote. “I hope my voice inspires others that may be struggling to seek help.”
Graham got into coaching in 2005 and Alabama was his eighth different stop. In addition to the Crimson Tide, he was an assistant at three other SEC schools in Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas A&M as well as Florida State in the ACC.
Graham was running backs coach in 2020 at Tennessee — his third coaching stint at the school — before deciding to join Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama.
Prior to his coaching career, Graham was a running back who played in 36 games (four starts) with the Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers from 1997-2002. He rushed for 454 yards and two touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 104 yards.
Graham was a third-round pick of the Ravens in the 1997 NFL Draft after rushing for 2,609 yards and 25 touchdowns at Tennessee (1993-96). His best season was 1995 when he rushed for 1,438 yards and 12 scores.