Jurich reiterates support for Kragthorpe

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich reiterated his support for head football coach Steve Kragthorpe on Wednesday. Jurich said that Kragthorpe "will be here next year – if he wants to be."

For the third time in less than a week, Jurich came out in support of Kragthorpe, whose team heads into Saturday's game against West Virginia with a 5-5 record overall this season – 1-4 in Big East play.

Steve Kragthorpe

"This is a long term project and we're going to take it that way," Jurich said. "We're going to continue to work and make progress. We want to continue to recruit well and we want to continue to attract the assistant coaches like we have. I think things will fall into place."

Jurich explained why he still believes in Kragthorpe.

"The job he did at Tulsa I think it's well documented," he said. "I've had people in the NCAA tell me it's one of the five best jobs ever done in college football. I mean, you've got to remember he took over a program there that lost 19 straight games and the president told him he had three years to turn it (around) or they were dropping football. So he had a lot of pressure on him and I think he did a marvelous job there."

The Cardinals have a big recruiting weekend scheduled with perhaps 8-12 prospects coming to town for official visits. It's clearly an important recruiting weekend for the program's future.

"He knows what he's doing," Jurich added. "I just want him to stay the course. Obviously he's got to put blinders on because there is a lot of negativity swirling out there. But I think a lot of programs have that.

"We knew this was going to be a big hurdle - we knew there were a lot of obstacles out there we just want to take them head on."

Jurich again asked Louisville fans to remain patient.

"There's nobody to blame," Jurich said. "If there's anybody to blame, blame me. I'll take all the blame. I take the blame for everything else anyway so what's the difference.

"But I want to look forward. I want to say ‘How are we going to get better?' We want to continue to grow as a program; we want our assistants to continue to grow. And I think we are. I really do."

Jurich was asked if Kragthorpe would be back at Louisville next season "no matter what?"

"Yes, Steve will be here next year – if he wants to be," Jurich said.

Jurich also said that expansion plans for Papa John's Cardinal Stadium are still on track to begin after the football season concludes. Louisville will play their final home game this Saturday at noon against West Virginia. Fans are encouraged to wear black.

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