Assist To Kragthorpe

By Charlie Springer

Football coaches lead a rough life, especially when the won-lost record doesn’t meet expectations. The three new assistants being added to Steve Kragthorpe’s University of Louisville staff are fully aware of the challenges facing the program. They’ve been around football and fans their entire lives.

The new coaches are Larry Slade, former defensive assistant at Tennessee, Brent Guy, former head coach at Utah State, and Jay Johnson, a former offensive coordinator at Southern Mississippi. larry_slade

Slade, an assistant to Phil Fulmer for 10 years, was in charge of the defensive  backs. This past season the Tennessee defense ranked fourth in the country in pass defense and tied for third nationally in total defense, allowing an average of 18 points per game. Before Tennessee, Slade spent five seasons at Texas A&M from 1994-98. His 1997 unit allowed a nation’s best three passing touchdowns.

“Larry is one of the most-respected defensive back coaches in the nation,” said Kragthorpe. “I worked with Larry at Texas A&M and he is one of the best I’ve ever been around.”

GBrent_Guyuy joins the Cardinals after spending four seasons as head coach at Utah State.  Guy went to Utah State from Arizona State where he was the defensive coordinator for four years. “Brent has a proven track record playing great defense wherever he has coached,” said Kragthorpe. “He had great success at Arizona State as a defensive coordinator and can add a lot of expertise to that side of the football.”

Johnson spent last season as an administrative assistant with UofL after spending five years at Southern Mississippi where, under his guidance, the Jay_Johnson Golden Eagles established a school record for total offense in 2007 with 5,066. “I’ve known Jay for a long time and he has an excellent offensive mind,” said Kragthorpe. “His teams at Southern Miss where very successful and explosive.”

Joining a program coming off two consecutive disappointing seasons requires confidence in the head coach and in your own abilities

Welcome to the University of Louisville, guys. We’re all in this together.

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Charlie Springer

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

6 thoughts on “Assist To Kragthorpe

  • January 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm
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    Welcome to Louisville coaches. We wish you well, although many of us aren’t as tolerant as we once were. We were spoiled by a guy named Petrino who left us a little shorthanded when he left.

  • January 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm
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    Color me a pessimist but I don’t think Lombardi, Parcells, and Landry could help much. It all starts at the top with that guy who keeps saying “It’s all on me.”

  • January 6, 2009 at 6:26 pm
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    Not miracles expected here. Just want to see some progress next season.

  • January 6, 2009 at 8:27 pm
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    I agree,Mr.Springer. These coaches seem to be good hires. Let’s hope the hirings translate into success on the football field.

  • January 7, 2009 at 7:28 am
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    Wholesale coaching changes indicate two things. First, a coach leaving for a head coaching job and a few assistants tagging along. Second, a dissatisfaction with some of the remaining staff. Nelson needed to go. He was horrible with the special teams this year, except for the Memphis game. “Pursuing other opportunities” is a polite way to say that you’ve been told you have no future with us and we’re gonna let you go so you can go out and look around.

    Of interest is the hire of Jay Johnson. Jeff Brohm has to be loving that one. Or not. Johnson built some pretty powerful offenses at Southern Miss, and he didn’t come her to pat Jeff on the back and say “Attaboy” It will be fun to see how that’s gonna work out.

    I hope these guys can bring some recruiting talent into the fold. We’re looking thin on numbers and got a mean ol’ schedule next year…going to WVU, USF, Cincy, UConn and yUK. Plus playing Utah, who dismantled Bama in their bowl game.

    Charlie, I hope this is a positive step in the rebuilding process Krags is trying to implement here at the Ville, but that away schedule looks very scary. Order us a couple of rabbit’s feet, will ya?

  • January 8, 2009 at 7:33 pm
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    The one spot that still needs tobe filled is the one where we were the worst at…special teams. No return game and no kicking game. I have an idea. When he was here John L. Smith was the special teams coach as well as head coach. He always had good special teams. He is here in town and may just be interested enough to do it. Wouldn’t hurt to ask.
    P.S. Ther are NO more Cullens left to kick for us! We had two that were DYING to come here and we s**t on them!

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