Kragthorpe not going anywhere voluntarily

Speculation continues to intensify about Steve Kragthorpe's future as the University of Louisville football coach. Monday, the embattled Kragthorpe said he doesn't plan on going "anywhere voluntarily" and wants to coach at Louisville next season.

Steve Kragthorpe is fighting for his coaching life at Louisville. Even after a 10-9 win over Syracuse last Saturday, speculation about the embattled coaches future at UofL continues to intensify. Monday during his weekly press conference, Kragthorpe talked about his future as the Cardinals coach.

"I have no idea what my future holds, I don't know what tomorrow holds," Kragthorpe said. "I'm planning on being here. That's the way I'm recruiting right now and how my schedule is planned. Unless somebody tells me different I plan on being here."

With two games left in the season, Kragthorpe's third UofL team enters this Saturday's game at South Florida with a 4-6 record and 1-4 mark in Big East play. The win over Syracuse snapped a nine-game Big East losing skid. Overall, Kragthorpe is 15-19 in three seasons at UofL. Kragthorpe said he's hasn't talked recently with AD Tom Jurich about his job status.

"I'm not going anywhere voluntarily," Kragthorpe said. "If it's involuntarily I can't answer that question. But I plan on being here and that's the mode I'm in. We're going recruiting in Atlanta Friday and we're going down to Florida and blanket Florida. We've got all our visits set up. We've got commitments and our schedule set for the first week of recruiting since we don't play the last weekend. So we're full steam ahead."

The Cardinals will finish the season against USF and Rutgers. Kragthorpe didn't guide Louisville to bowl games in his first two seasons. Prior to his arrival in 2007, the Cardinals played in nine straight bowls, including a win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl the season before he took over from Bobby Petrino.

"I'm trying to win two games and get these seniors to a bowl game," Kragthorpe said. "My goal is to help get this team to 6-6 and possibly play that 13th game and send them out with a bowl game."

Though criticism from a disgruntled fan base has intensified this season, Kragthorpe says he's been shielded from that for the most part.

"It's part of the business and I can't let that bog me down because I have so much work to get done during the week that I can't concentrate on that," Kragthorpe said. "The easiest thing for me to do is to come to work everyday because I get in the building at 6 o'clock in the morning and leave at 10 o'clock at night.

"It's much easier for me than it is for my family or the players. Our players go to school so they're out in public and my family is in public. But I'm not out in the public much this time of the year."

Kragthorpe said his family understands that criticism from fans comes with the territory in the coaching profession.

"They're used to it," said Kragthorpe. "They know it comes with the territory. It's just the nature of the business. They've seen it and that's the way it is. They just accept it."

Despite his overall lack of on-field success, dwindling attendance and a fan base clamoring for change, Kragthorpe said there's no doubt where he hopes to be next year – coaching at UofL.

"Absolutely I want to be here," Kragthorpe said. "I came here with a plan to be here and I want to continue to be here. We've put solid recruiting classes together. Although we haven't won as many games as we've wanted to we've been very, very close in a lot of games this year and I don't think we're that far away from being the kind of team we want to be and that's a team that competes for the championship. And so I definitely want to be here next year."

Three of Louisville's four Big East losses this season have come by double-digits. The Cardinals were beaten 35-10 by Pittsburgh; 41-10 by Cincinnati and 38-25 by UConn. Louisville has scored 10 points or less in four Big East contests this season and ranks last in the Big East in scoring offense at 18.1 points per game.


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