Kragthorpe Gets the Nod

LSU coach Les Miles appears to have found his next offensive coordinator in former Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe, a 20-plus year veteran coach who will be able to both calls plays and work with quarterbacks.

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The whirlwind that was January in Baton Rouge appears to have subsided.

Most importantly, Les Miles decided that Baton Rouge was home, turning away the Michigan job for a second time after he agreed to a new seven-year contract with LSU.

But offensive coordinator Gary Crowton saw his process play out differently.

Despite a National Championship season in 2007, Crowton’s past three years have been marred by disappointment – beginning at quarterback. On Jan. 13, after four seasons in Baton Rouge where he helped compile a 40-13 overall record, Crowton left town for the same post at Maryland, where he was offered a three-year contract worth $500,000 a year. After making $475,000 this past season, Crowton had one year at $500,000 left on his LSU contract.

One week later, enter Steve Kragthorpe.

Multiple reports on Thursday stated that Kragthorpe, who stepped down from his position as the Texas A&M wide receivers coach before the season, has been hired to replace Crowton. Kragthorpe met with Miles on Tuesday to interview about the opening. sources have confirmed that an announcement from LSU is expected before the weekend.

As a coach in the college ranks, Kragthorpe’s experience dates back to the late 1980s. At 26 he became the offensive coordinator at Northern Arizona University before leaving for North Texas. In 1996 he coached quarterbacks at Boston College. He coached quarterbacks at Texas A&M the following year and then became the Aggies offensive coordinator in 1998, when Texas A&M won a Big 12 Championship.

In 2001 he got his first taste of the NFL as a quarterbacks coach with the Buffalo Bills, where he worked extensively with Drew Bledsoe.

Two years later he was back in college, this time as a head coach at Tulsa.

He turned the Golden Hurricanes from a two-win team to an 8-5 side in just one year, taking Tulsa to a bowl game for the first time since 1991.

He moved to Louisville in 2007, taking over for Bobby Petrino. But trouble followed, unable to keep the Cardinals momentum going as he finished 6-6, 5-7 and 4-8 in his three years with the program. He notched only five Big East wins during the stretch, and his final game was a 63-14 loss to Rutgers, the worst Louisville defeat since 1987. He was fired on Nov. 28, 2009.

Last February he looked to get back into action, accepting a job as the wide receivers coach at Texas A&M. But family issues (illness) forced him to resign before the season began.

A Missoula, Mont. Native, Kragthorpe was born on April 28, 1965. He began his college playing days at Eastern New Mexico University before finishing at West Texas State.

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