Louisville's next coach?

Could this be Louisville's replacement for Bobby Petrino, who bolted Sunday to become the head coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. InsideTheVille.com has the latest.

Sources close to the Louisville program believe Tulsa's Steve Kragthorpe is the leading candidate to replace Bobby Petrino and could be introduced as the Cardinals head coach sometime this week.

InsideTheVille.com contacted Don Tomkalski, Tulsa's Athletic Media Relations Director for Football Sunday night, to inquire whether Louisville officials had contacted Tulsa administrators for permission to speak with Kragthorpe.

"I can't comment on that because I haven't talked to (Steve) because he is at the coaches convention," said Tomkalski. "Our policy is that the AD will not comment on that (right now)."

It's common knowledge that Kragthorpe has been atop Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich's shortlist the past year's and sources indicate that Kragthorpe was set to replace Petrino in 2004 (In fact, sources inform InsideTheVille.com that Kragthorpe actually placed several calls to recruits at that time informing them he had taken over for Petrino) when Petrino interviewed with LSU in Tennessee at the Liberty Bowl.

Kragthorpe led Tulsa to
three bowls in four years.
Jurich didn't take long the last time he had to replace a coach, in Dec. 2002 after John L. Smith bolted for Michigan State, hiring Petrino just days after Petrino's departure. The same could be true this time around.

Kragthorpe, 42, has turned the Golden Hurricane program around in just four years, taking Tulsa to three bowl games in four years and winning more games in his first three seasons than Tulsa had in the previous seven years prior to his arrival.

The 2003 Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, Kragthorpe has guided Tulsa to a 29-22 record and the 2005 Conference USA Championship that included a 31-24 win over Fresno State in the Liberty Bowl. This season, Tulsa finished 8-5, losing to Utah 25-13 in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth.

In 2003, Kragthorpe took over a Tulsa program that had won just two games the previous two seasons and went 8-5, earning a birth in the Humantarian Bowl. That turnaround earned Kragthorpe national distinction, including a finalist for the Associated Press National Coach of the Year and Paul "Bear" Bryant College Football Coach of the Year.

Steve Kragthorpe @ Tulsa
Armed Forces
  • 2005 Conference USA Champions
  • A former college quarterback at Eastern New Mexico, Kragthorpe's football philosophy is to be wide-open, aggressive and try to dictate the tempo in all phases of the game. In 51 games as head coach, Kragthorpe's teams have scored over 30 points 30 times.

    Before taking over at Tulsa, Kragthorpe spent two seasons as the Buffalo Bills quarterback coach, tutoring Rob Johnson and 2002 All-Pro Drew Bledsoe.

    Stay tuned to InsideTheVille.com for further updates on this huge story.

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