Tulsa's Kragthorpe To Louisville
Louisville and Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe have agreed to terms on a five-year deal to become the next coach of the Cardinals, sources said Tuesday morning. Financial details were not immediately available.
Steve Kragthorpe changed the culture at Tulsa. He took over a program that had lost 21 of 22 games before he arrived in 2003 and led the Golden Hurricane to a 29-22 record and three bowl appearances.
Kragthorpe, who met with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich on Tuesday in Tulsa, is expected to be introduced in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon.
The Louisville Athletic Association's board of directors was scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. ET and was expected to approve the hire.
Kragthorpe is 29-22 in four years at Tulsa after taking over a program that had lost 21 of its previous 22 games. The Golden Hurricane have been to three bowl games in Kragthorpe's four years.
Louisville, which won the Big East and beat Wake Forest decisively in the Orange Bowl, acted quickly to replace Bobby Petrino, who left to coach the NFL's Atlanta Falcons.
The football program is hosting prep players this weekend at a previously-planned recruiting event, and apparently already lost one prized recruit when quarterback Matt Simms -- the brother of NFL quarterback Chris Simms and son of NFL great Phil Simms -- reportedly said Monday he was withdrawing his oral commitment to Louisville.
While Cardinals running back Michael Bush announced he was entering the NFL draft on Tuesday, it remained to be seen if quarterback Brian Brohm could be persuaded to stay. Brohm, projected as a first-round draft pick by some experts, was expected to meet with Kragthorpe before deciding whether to return for his senior season or enter the draft.
Jurich and Kragthorpe have roots at Northern Arizona together. Jurich was the athletic director there in the late 1980s and early '90s, and Kragthorpe was NAU's quarterbacks coach from 1990-94.
Like Petrino, Kragthorpe has a track record as a strong quarterbacks coach and offensive tactician. He came to Tulsa after two years as the quarterbacks coach of the Buffalo Bills, and his Golden Hurricane teams have been prolific offensively.
"My mission is to be the ray of hope, the guy who stands out there on that beautiful field and owns up to his mistakes and lets people know it's never completely hopeless, no matter how bad it seems at the time. I have a platform and a message, and now I go to bed at night, sober and happy, praying I can be a good messenger." -Josh Hamilton