Butch Jones May Be In Louisville Mix

No informed sources,  just a hunch.

Now that Jon Gruden has signed a contract extension with ESPN, the name game begins in earnest for the successor to Steve Kragthorpe as football coach at the University of Louisville. Assuming, of course. no major upsets occur over the next two games.

Keep the name of Butch Jones in mind.

Jones is head coach at Central Michigan University which he led to the Mid-American Conference title during his first year in 2007. His team is 9-2 (7-0 conference) and is headed for a third straight bowl. Among the wins this season was a 29-27 decision over Michigan State at East Lansing. His record is 25-13.

He served as an assistant to Rich Rodriguez at West Virginia during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. Jones was considered a top candidate for the WVU post before the Mountaineers, under then interim coach Bill Stewart, knocked off Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

Yes, Central Michigan is the same team that was coached by Brian Kelly, now at Cincinnati.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

10 thoughts on “Butch Jones May Be In Louisville Mix”

  1. CMU and Jones did all the right things in their most recent win over Ball State and he has one of the best QB’s in the nation right now in Dan Lefevour. Interesting that Brian Kelly was at CMU before going to Cincinnati.

    Some may question the Cards taking a chance on a coach from a lesser conference (ala Kragthorpe) again, but if he’s part of the Brian Kelly coaching tree…the gamble might pay huge dividends.

    Money certainly won’t be an object and the BCS potential a sufficient lure.

    1. Jones isn’t part of the Brian Kelly tree, he’s a branch from the Rich Rodriguez tree. Jones came to CMU AFTER Kelly left for Cinci.

  2. I hope your hunch plays out Charlie. This is the guy I have wanted all along and I blogged that on CC months ago. He has done a really good job at CM (I love the win over Michigan State…..I guess his “signature” win at this point). His offense reminds me of Bobby’s and his defense is solid. I would love to have him coach at U of L. Going to be an interesting few weeks ahead.
    Go CARDS!

  3. Linda and I have been watching this guy for two years. (for obvious reasons) We’ve liked him since the first time we watched him. He lost a couple of Motor City Bowls (one to Howard Schnellenberger who flat knows how to win bowl games) but we think Jones is a very strong candidate.

    1. Watching him for two years. Either you’re CIA or this could constitute stalking. Let the conspiracy theorists have the main stage.

      Meanwhile, a group of movers fire up the semi and prepare to drive over to the Kragthorpe estate.

  4. Former Georgia coach Jim Donnan predicted on his call in show that Mike Leach (ex UK, Okla, and now currently head coach of Texas Tech)will be the next UofL head coach and “that it is 100%. Write it down”

    Wow…an offensive genius, flake and big name..all in the same package.

    This might even lure my attention away from women’s basketball awhile to see how this log on the fire burns.

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