Alabama football: Assistant coach Jay Graham cites ‘mental health issues’ for sudden resignation

TUSCALOOSA — Alabama tight ends coach Jay Graham said Wednesday that “mental health issues” and a need to seek professional help led to his sudden resignation from the Crimson Tide coaching staff.

“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,” Graham wrote on Twitter. “I hope to rebalance my life so that I am able to return to my passion of coaching and helping student-athletes achieve their dreams.

“While mental health issues are not new, they are often difficult to discuss, especially for coaches/athletes. I hope my voice inspires others that may be struggling to seek help. I would like to thank everyone for their support, grace and words of encouragement.”

Earlier Wednesday, UA in a school release said “Jay Graham has resigned his position effective immediately.”

There was no elaboration until Graham’s tweet.

UA hired the 45-year-old Graham as special -teams coordinator and tight ends coach on Feb. 1.

There was no announcement on Graham’s replacement.

“Jay is well respected across the country for his knowledge of the game and his ability to recruit,” Saban said at the time of Graham’s hiring.

A Concord, N.C., native, Graham played running back at Tennessee from 1993-96, rushing for 2,609 yards during his career. That included 1,438 yards on 272 carries during his junior season.