"We've hired what I think is going to be a great defensive staff," Kragthorpe said.
Ron English comes to UofL after spending the past five seasons as an assistant to Lloyd Carr at the University of Michigan, including the past two as the Wolverines defensive coordinator.
"I've known Ron since 1992 when he was coaching in junior college and I was coaching at Northern Arizona," Kragthorpe said. "He's a guy that I've always kept my eye on and hoped at one point in my career that I would be able to work with him. I like his passion and his energy. Ron was a hot commodity and I feel very lucky that's he's come here. It's a great hire for us here at the University of Louisville."
English said he made the decision to join Kragthorpe's staff for a host reasons.
"I'm excited to be here," English said. "Coach Kragthorpe's energy and the way he carried himself really attracted me to him. After talking to him I just made the decision that this is where I wanted to be for several reasons, but mostly because of the people here."
Kragthorpe wanted English, who interviewed for head coaching jobs at Michigan and Arkansas and was considered a top candidate at Washington as a defensive coordinator, because of the style of defense he employs.
"It's a very aggressive style of defense and we're going to play man-to-man coverage," Kragthorpe said. "We're going to be smart in picking and choosing are spots to pressure the quarterback. (English) is very multiple on the defensive side of the ball and doing things that create problems for the offense. I think he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to us."
English, who will also coach the safeties, said he hasn't yet seen enough film on Louisville's to make any type of informative comments but did outline a very simple philosophy that will guide his defense next season.
"We want to be sound and the players to know exactly what they're supposed to be doing and play with great effort," English said. "We like to get you in a situation where we can get after you but that starts with being good on early downs and having the toughness to stop the run. And that's where we'll start."
English must find replacements for several key starters this spring but does have plenty of talent returning, including defensive linemen Earl Heyman and Adrian Grady, middle linebacker Lamar Myles and cornerback Rod Council.
"We're going to customize the scheme to the players," Kragthorpe said. "That's one of the things that Ron has done as great job of during his tenure as a defensive coordinator. We're going to evaluate our personnel and do the best job we can to put our guys in positions to make plays."
For English, the first task he'll tackle is to make sure the Cardinals can stand up against the run.
"We want stop the run – that's the key," said English. "Two years ago, we led the country in run defense and the reason we did that is because we play with great technique and leverage. We'll start that way and I always feel like we're going to get to the quarterback when the time comes."
Ted Roof, who spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Duke, replaces Reggie Johnson as linebacker coach. A former defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Georgia Tech, Roof brings vast experience to the UofL staff.
"I've know Ted since he was at Georgia Tech," Kragthorpe said. "He brings a great experience-level to us. He's a great resource for me because he's sat in the chair that I sit in every day."
"I'm excited about the opportunity," Roof said. "The people here have a commitment to being a champion and that's what really attracted me to Louisville."
Kragthorpe also introduced Ken Delgado as the new defensive line coach. Delgado, who replaces Mark Nelson, spent the past six seasons as the defensive line coach at California. Nelson will coordinate the special teams.
"I'm excited about these three gentlemen coming on board," Kragthorpe said. "I'm really excited about the staff changes we were able to make. I think these guys are a great fit for what we want to do. It's a real coup for us that guys of this caliber are interested in coming to Louisville. I think it speaks volumes to the program that Tom (Jurich) has built here."