Young Arizona State fan emotional about former coach Todd Graham's firing

Five-year-old Parker Canter found out his favorite football coach was let go, putting his personal tour of the campus on hold.

GILBERT, Ariz. - Reaction to the firing of ASU head coach Todd Graham is pouring in. Some fans are happy but others are disappointed with the decision.

Five-year-old Parker Canter of Gilbert is taking the news particularly hard.

"Coach Graham got fired!" said an emotional Parker Graham Sunday just moments after he was told that Graham was fired by ASU.

The young boy was leaving church with his family when the news broke. He immediately started to cry and his mom, Randa, couldn't resist filming her son's reaction.

"He kept saying, 'He's such a good man. He's such a good man,'" she said.

Parker said Graham is a good man because he recently got the chance to meet him at a practice. Parker went up to the coach and asked him to sign his ASU football. Instead of an autograph, Graham gave Parker an invitation.

RELATED: The end of the Todd Graham era"He told us to come to his office that coming week," Canter said.

The 5-year-old made an impression on the now-former head coach in part because he has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair because of it. That, however, doesn't stop Parker from dreaming big. He wants to play football at ASU.

"He's obsessed with football," his mom explained.

Parker and his family went back to ASU that following week and got a personal tour of the football facility from Graham and the equipment manager. Parker was also given a signed football helmet.

"He said anytime you want to come to practice, just come to security and tell them you're a personal friend of Coach Graham," Canter said.

It wasn't an easy decision for Parker, but he's decided to continue cheering for the Sun Devils even though Graham is out. He says, though, Graham will always be his favorite coach.

"Parker, once he loves you, he loves you," said his mom.

Graham had invited Parker to run out of the tunnel with the team during a game next season. We now know Graham won't be able to fulfill that promise, but 12 News has reached out to ASU to see if they will still make that happen.

Graham's wife has seen the video of Parker and says she will be showing it to her husband.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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