Kragthorpe takes high road out of town

Steve Kragthorpe is taking his family and moving back to Tulsa on Sunday. But while the former Louisville coach could have gone slinking out of town, he chose instead to address the media on Monday -- a little more than 48 hours after being fired.

Kragthorpe began his news conference by saying he might not answer every question, "since I don't have to anymore," then spent the next 30 minutes talking about how he had no hard feelings about the school which fired him after three seasons.

"I don't leave here bitter," he said. "I leave here better."

As has been his normal way of operating, Kragthorpe offered few specifics for why things went wrong under his tenure. The Cardinals failed to make a bowl game and saw their win totals decrease every year under the former Tulsa coach, culminating in a 4-8 campaign in 2009.

"I'm sorry I didn't win more football games, because that's ultimately how you're judged," he said. "That's the only regret that I have."

Kragthorpe was asked in different ways whether he was shown enough patience by the program and by the fans, who booed him in his very first game and never really warmed up to him. He said "that's the nature of college football" and that three years "is about the time frame nowadays," especially at a school that had won so much before he arrived.

Kragthorpe said he thought he accomplished a lot with the team despite the won-loss record and that he believed next year's team could win eight or nine games, which seems to be overly optimistic given the talent on hand. He said he's already been offered three jobs, including one as an offensive coordinator at a BCS school. But he might take a year off and "be a dad." He has one son playing small-college football, another who is a junior quarterback playing for the Kentucky state high school championship this weekend and another who will be a sophomore in high school next year.

He'll receive a $2.2 million buyout from Louisville.

"I signed a contract," he said. "I deserve every penny of that."

While there wasn't much new information that came from the news conference, give Kragthorpe credit for standing in front of the media and taking questions before leaving town. He didn't have to do that, and most coaches probably wouldn't have done so.