Tom Jurich remains firm in his support of Steve Kragthorpe as coach of the University of Louisville football team.  “He’s as good a coach as I’ve ever hired,” he said Thursday at the Governor’s Cup Kickoff Luncheon. “I’m going to stand behind him as long as it takes. I’m in this for the long haul, to build it the right way.”tj.jpg

Strong words, spoken without any indication that Jurich’s confidence in Kragthorpe’s abilities has wavered after a disappointing 6-6 record in his first year at the helm. No parsing of words, no beating around the bush: he believes in the coach.

Jurich knows football, he knows his glowing reputation is at stake, and he knows the future of the program  hangs in the balance.  It’s the same kind of confidence he has voiced in Rick Pitino when some fans were all but jumping ship during  the early going of a couple of basketball seasons.

He knows fans, knows they are impatient, knows their expectations can be unreasonable during coaching transitions. He also recognizes that they may not have all the facts about the personnel, what has gone on in the past, and what is transpiring now. He also knows what it takes to field winning teams and ensure long-term stability.

Jurich has transformed the athletic program at UofL in ways that were not imagined just a decade ago. If he stakes his reputation on Kragthorpe, then one has to believe there is ample justification for his faith in the man.

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By Charlie Springer

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

3 thoughts on “Jurich Stakes Reputation On Kragthorpe”
  1. Betting against Tom Jurich has never proven to be a wise move.

    Coach K is commited to the football program’s long term success. With the excellent coaching staff that he has assembled, you will see a hard nosed, more disciplined team this year. Let’s get behind them as they continue to prepare for this season and take the tough road of doing it right.


  2. I agree with your analysis, but even if youare wrong, folks need to take heart. The strength in this program lies in the community. There is much tobe desired by potential coaches, administrators and athletes. This is a large city to have so little pro sports available. The Cards provide so much, in terms of spectator sports that any vacuum will be filled quickly. If TJ decides to leave, or if coach K turns out to be a dud, there will be high demand to fill those spots. Take Heart! Louisville football will thrive!

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