Grantham and Saints Team Up For Donation

6 14 Guardian Caps scaledSeen here with examples of the donated Guardian Helmet Caps are (from left) Cougar Head Coach Cam Akers, rising sophomore Anius Slaughter, Mr. Gale Grantham, rising senior Trevor Gallimore, and PCHS AD Scott Vest. (Pulaski County Public Schools)


Pulaski County Public Schools

Todd Grantham may have left Pulaski County after graduation to pursue his football dreams, but he has always maintained close ties to the county and school that helped him get his start. Now, the 33-year coaching veteran has made a valuable donation to PCHS that will help offer yet another layer of safety to players.

Concussions and other head injuries have been a major issue in most sports, and groups have worked hard to find ways to make remaining active in athletics a safer thing.


Todd Grantham graduated from PCHS with the Class of 1984. He was not only a solid football player for legendary former Head Coach Joel Hicks, but during his senior season he was selected as Homecoming King. He went on to play football at Virginia Tech under another legend, former Head Coach Frank Beamer. He earned All-American honors his senior season as a tackle for the Hokies.


After graduating from VT in 1988, Grantham went on to coach as an assistant at VT from 1990-95. Later, he worked as the defensive line coach for Michigan State from 1996-97. After being promoted to assistant head coach at Michigan State, Coach Grantham was hired by the Indianapolis Colts to coach the defensive line.


Next up, Grantham was hired by the newly formed Houston Texans for the same job, helping to build that program into a defensive power. He was named defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, serving for two years before moving to the Dallas Cowboys as the defensive line coach.


His next stop was with the University of Georgia, where he served as the defensive coordinator, assistant head coach, and outside linebackers coach. After three seasons, he took the same job with Louisville for two years, then took over that spot at Mississippi State. In 2018, he landed at the University of Florida, serving alongside another former Cougar and Hokie, Shane Graham. In 2022, he worked for now retired Head Coach Nick Saban as a defensive analyst at the University of Alabama. February 3, 2023, Coach Grantham was hired as the defensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints.

Recently, the Saints began a new program to help promote the sport of football and highlight player safety at the lower levels. The goal was to provide a product known as a “Guardian Helmet Cap” to younger athletes. These caps fit over the normal football helmets, offering an additional layer of protection from head injuries.


The Saints offered all the coaches and players the opportunity to sponsor a local school in the greater New Orleans area. That means that if the player or coach agreed to sponsor a local school, then the player or coach would cover 50% of the Guardian Cap cost and the Saints organization would pay the other 50% of the cost.


The program was a huge success, prompting the Saints Organization to offer players and coaches the opportunity to do the same for their own local schools. Coach Grantham selected his alma mater, donating 80 of the Guardian Helmet Caps to Pulaski County High School. At over $125 per cap, this is an investment of over $10,000 in the Cougar Football program.


“We sincerely appreciate Todd Grantham providing this equipment to Pulaski County High School in an effort to promote football in Pulaski County and to help provide another safety measure to Pulaski County football players,” PCHS AD Scott Vest said.


During the final week of school, Grantham’s father, Gale Grantham, was on hand to present the Guardian Helmet Caps to Cougar Football Head Coach Cam Akers and his players.


“We can’t thank Coach Grantham and the New Orleans Saints enough for this gift,” Coach Akers said. “Player participation has been down across the country for football, and safety has been one of the main areas of concern for many of those who don’t come out. Being able to offer this extra layer of protection will help our program protect the players that come out and represent Pulaski County. We are extremely grateful and thankful.”


“My son grew up in this program and he’s always kept up with it,” Gale Grantham said. “As lifelong Pulaski County fans, we all want to see the numbers come back up and for Cougar Football to get back in the hunt for district, region, and state titles. Watching these young men working out for a few minutes this morning I was impressed. They’re putting in the work. Hopefully we can see things continue to move in the right direction for them.”