Jurich staying the course

With Steve Kragthorpe on the ‘hot seat' with fans, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich says he's "staying the course."

"Staying the course."

That's the mantra Jurich used repeatedly in Simpsonville, Kentucky Thursday at the Governor's Cup press conference when discussing the Cardinals football program.

Kragthorpe, who took over a program that went 41-9 during the four years before his arrival but has gone just 11-13 the past two years, is still searching for his first winning season and bowl appearance as Louisville's coach. He went to three bowls in four seasons at Tulsa.

"We're going to continue to do our best and keep working, stay the course and continue to recruit and fill up our class and hope some of the breaks go our way," Jurich said.

Despite Kragthorpe's struggles – Louisville ended the 2008 season on a five-game losing streak to finish last in the Big East – Jurich said his confidence level in the Cardinals top guy hasn't changed at all.

"I'm very impressed with the coaching staff. I really am," said Jurich. "I think the additions (Kragthorpe) made this year are fantastic. Being able to get a guy like Brent Guy and being able to bring Jeff Lewis in has really helped us a lot. We have a long haul ahead of us and we know that. We're just going to continue to build and do it the right way."

Jurich also said new quarterbacks coach Matt Wells was a "huge upgrade" to Kragthorpe's coaching staff. Wells replaced Jeff Brohm at the conclusion of the last year's 5-7 campaign.

On another front, Jurich sounded pleased with the progress of expansion at PJCS despite sluggish season ticket sales for the 2009 season. Expansion, which is scheduled for completion next year, will increase current capacity at the stadium from 42,000 to more than 55,000.

"Expansion is going great. We're right on time and we'll open it up next year against Kentucky," said Jurich. "That's going to be a great game. Our sales have been very brisk for the expansion. We want to stay the course. We're not building the stadium expansion for next year or the year after. We're building it for the next fifty (years)."

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