Thirteen years after winning an Ivy League title, former Yale footballer Pat Graham ’01 is one game away from winning the biggest title of them all: the Super Bowl.
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When Graham, the linebacker coach for the New England Patriots, takes the field Feb. 5, he will become the first Yale graduate to appear in the Super Bowl as a coach. The former Blue and White tight end and defensive lineman will face off against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
After graduation, Graham spent two seasons at Wagner College as a graduate assistant while working toward an MBA degree. From 2004 to 2006, Graham served as the tight end and defensive line coach for the Richmond Spiders, who became the Atlantic 10 Conference Co-Champions in 2005.
In a 2010 interview with Yale Athletics, Graham said that his experience an Ivy League football player helped to prepare him for the competitive nature of the NFL.
“[Yale] is a tough environment to go to school in, but it helps you to become a better person and a harder worker,” he said. “At the NFL level, no matter who you are, you are dealing with very competitive people who are trying to be the best at what they do. If you get thrown into this environment, and are not familiar with this attitude, it can be tough.”
The Giants upset an 18–0 Patriots squad in Super Bowl XLII, beating the heavy favorite 17–14.