LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe was
introduced Tuesday as the new head football coach at the University
of Louisville, less than 48 hours after Bobby Petrino left for the
Kragthorpe and Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich agreed to
a five-year, $1.1-million deal on Tuesday that runs through the
2012 season. The contract was approved by the Louisville Athletic
Association's Board of Directors on Tuesday afternoon.
The agreement was first reported by ESPN.com's Pat Forde.
"This truly is a destination for us," said Kragthorpe, 29-22
in four seasons at Tulsa, at a news conference. "There's no
question that we feel like this is a place that we've come to
The deal caps a whirlwind courtship. Jurich said he flew to
Oklahoma on Monday night to interview Kragthorpe. On Tuesday
morning, Kragthorpe and his family joined Jurich for the plane trip
back to Louisville.
"We might have just completed the shortest search in the
history of the NCAA," Jurich said. "I thought we needed to move
It wasn't fast enough to keep running back Michael Bush, though.
Bush, who broke his right leg in September, said Tuesday he planned
to enter the NFL draft.
Junior quarterback Brian Brohm has until Jan. 15 to decide
whether to bypass his senior year and join Bush in the draft. Brohm
is expected to meet with Kragthorpe in the next few days before
making a decision.
Brohm's decision could rest on whether any of the current staff
stays with the program. Older brother Jeff was the team's
quarterbacks coach under Petrino.
For the players that remain, Kragthorpe's easygoing personality
is proving to be a stark contrast to the button-downed Petrino.
"He gives off a really good vibe," said defensive tackle
Adrian Grady. "I felt a lot more comfortable around him than the
first time I met the other guy that was here."
The Cardinals finished 12-1 in 2006, won the Big East, defeated
Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl and were sixth in the final AP poll.
Petrino resigned Sunday to coach the Atlanta Falcons.
"I don't want to be a guy that moves around, I want to be a guy
that stays in one place," Kragthorpe said.
It's a phrase Jurich had heard several times from Petrino, who
flirted with other jobs after each of his four seasons with the
Cardinals. Given the personal relationship between the two, dating to 1990, when
Jurich was Northern Arizona athletic director and Kragthorpe was
hired as the Lumberjacks' quarterbacks coach, Jurich
feels this will be different.
"I said 'Steve, I've heard all these things before, that you
want to be here forever,'" Jurich said. "But he said 'Tom, you've
never heard it from me.'"
Kragthorpe helped resurrect a Tulsa team that had won just two
games in the two years before he was hired in December 2002. He led
the Golden Hurricane to three bowl appearances in four seasons.
Tulsa finished 8-5 this year, losing to Utah in the Armed Forces
"We wish Steve well in his next endeavor," Tulsa athletic
director Bubba Cunningham said. "He has done a marvelous job of
rejuvenating the Tulsa football program and rekindling the spirit
and excitement for Golden Hurricane football within the city and
state of Oklahoma, as well as putting Tulsa back into the national
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.