By Tom Stosberg

What would happen if University of Louisville football coach Steve Kragthorpe were to miraculously just happen to find a big-time gunslinger among the four quarterbacks from which he has to choose?

Steve Kragthorpe has his work cut out for him.
Steve Kragthorpe has more than a few detractors.

And what would happen if Kragthorpe turned out to actually be the offensive brainiac that Tom Jurich thinks he is and quickly developed a super slick, high-powered revolutionary new offense that no one can stop?

And what would happen if Brent Guy were to turn out actually to be college football’s new yet-to-be discovered defensive wizard who can instantly field a blazing speed defense that dominates from day one and gets even better every week to ultimately become the best in the Big East?

I’m asking you specifically what you think would happen?

All of a sudden would Card fans do a complete 180 on this guy and want to name a street after him or would they simply turn their backs on 10-2 or 11-1 and a major bowl?

Pay attention. I’m not dreaming, I’m just asking. Just how deep does the dislike go? Too deep for positively anything to fix it?

I bet not.

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By Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

29 thoughts on “What If Kragthorpe Made A U-Turn”
  1. The things coming out early about the football team FEEL so much better than they did a year ago, although the feeling in year 1 was one of BCS dreams. I would say that regardless of talent, the players here are focused on winning and embrace a system. Maybe Kragthorpe has his finger on the pulse now and results will come forth.

  2. Like a lot of you, I’m very unhappy about the way that UofL football has gome since the Orange Bowl. And, if I had my way, we’d have someone else coaching this team. This does not mean that I’ve dropped my support for them. Quite the opposite. I want these guys to shock the Big East this year with big wins and a bowl trip.

    The way I see it, we have Ron Cooper three years to hang himself. If we go in Cooper fashion this year, I think even Tom Jurich will see the writing on the wall and make the necessary move. But, if we improve, then the man deserves another year. Let’s consider just who we really are in football, anyway…we’ve been a stepping stone to better jobs for Vince Gibson, Howard Schnellenberger, John L., and Petrino. We may be a top 40 program nationally over the last ten years,and some would argue that with you, but I well remember the 70’s and 80’s of Louisville football.

    Two bowl appearances in 20 years.

    Trust in Tom, he knows what is right for the program and athletics at UofL.

    1. Is there a way to have a great season and still get rid of Kragthorpe at seasons end? A man can dream I guess. This is slightly off topic Paul, but what are you looking for in terms of improvement? What will convince you that Kragthorpe might actually be worth the huge salary he is drawing?

      For me it’s 8-4, for two reasons. First, despite what many say we have some serious talent on this team at the skill positions. Some are the last of the holdovers of the Petrino era, and some are from Kragthorpe’s first recruiting class. Unfortunately he has followed it up with lower ranked recruiting classes each of the following years, so that doesn’t inspire too much hope. QB will be an unknown, but can they really do any worse than Cantwell? That’s not a jab at Cantwell either, Kragthorpe just didn’t know how to use him.

      My second reason for this prediction is our weak schedule. The Big East has lost a lot of talent over the last two years and looks to be really down this year. Add to that our horrible non-conference schedule and how could you expect anything worse? Utah could possibly be the only ranked team we’ll play all year. What really worries me is that we’ll go 6-6 and Jurich will call it “improvement” and give this clown a few more years to stomp the remaining life out of our program.

  3. Most of us know too little about the “personal character” of coaches to making judgments here, especially when our opinions are based primarily on won-lost records. Employers hire and fire people all the time — do they have bad character when they ask people to move on?

    1. If you are referring to the comments I made, then you completely missed the point. Kragthorpe’s poor personal character has nothing to do with his decision to retain or release employees on his staff. Where I and many like me find fault in him is his constant blame of others while at the same time proclaiming “it’s on me.” It’s easy to claim responsibility for a situation when you know it’s not your ass that’s getting canned when things go bad. If we have learned anything over the past two years about the Kragthorpe situation, it’s that nothing is on him! Add to that the “mess” he supposedly inherited. The group of players that were unusually clean during Petrino’s days, yet somehow turned into a bunch of criminals and thugs when Krags arrived. Shows a great deal of character to trash 18 to 22 year old kids doesn’t it?

      Finally, lets talk about doing things the right way. You know, as opposed to the wrong way that John L and Petrino did things. Signing recruits with sketchy pasts and questionable academics are things of the past right? Glad to see we’re changing our ways…

      I don’t know about you, but a person who passes blame and shirks any real responsibility doesn’t exactly come off as a person of great character in my opinion.

  4. True fans are going to rejoice in our success and hope for better days if we fail. They are going to be there for the players in the good and bad times. They will attend because of the tradition of the program and the name on the front of the jersey.

    IF you’re local…go out and support them. I’ll be there when I can. 11-1 or 1-11.

  5. Those accusations are completely and totaly false ones. Greg Brohm was not involved in the scheduling mixup. The story will come out on Brohm’s transfer of jobs when either he or Krags is ready to tell it…because it was a matter between the two of them that was in no way involved this. Period.

    1. Thanks for clearing that up. Greg is a first class guy who is also very much a detail guy. Just wanted to be sure he wasn’t moved for a dumb excuse like that. thanks

      1. It seems like I read somewhere else that it was a female assistant that had been with the program many years. I don’t think she was fired, just blamed for the mixup. I was also under the impression it had nothing to do with Greg Brohm’s transfer.

  6. Hold everything! -“Zagnut” and “Anonymous” – If I read you guys correctly, you’re telling me that Greg Brohm got “transferred” because he failed to remind Krag that he had a meeting at a Kentucky Football coaches luncheon!!! Right?

  7. I cannot conceive of this happening but if it did I would say “Hey, I am a UofL fan first and foremost and I was wrong. I apologize. Mea culpa.”

    But I still won’t like Kragthorpe as a person. Heck, I sure didn’t like Bobby Pinocchio as a person. The list of people he lied to is very, very long and includes his boss (twice I believe) but he won games and kept his players under control. I have little respect for him as a moral person but great respect for him as a recruiter, coach and motivator.

    My point is I am not living with my coach. I don’t have to like him as a person. But I do like wins and a reasonably clean program. If Kragthorpe can produce that I will support him no matter what my personal feelings are about him. But I am afraid that while I am not living with my coach I may be dying with this one.

    1. Now that’s a scary thought. Hopefully you will be around a couple more years when we’re packing the place.

  8. If Kragthorpe wins games the fans will be right there with him. As a Syracuse fan who just lived through 4 years of Greg Robinson, allow me to lend some perspective.

    In his first year he took an experienced team that won 6 games the year before and lost 10. Obviously we were worried.

    His second year he went 4-8, the team showed some life, there was hope.

    Going into year 3 there was still a thought he could turn it around – instead everything imploded. Another 10 loss season was at our feet and almost every game was a blow out. Everyone knew the guy couldn’t coach.

    Last year he was a dead man walking the whole year, a complete waste. This could be a make or break year for Kragthorpe.

  9. Let’s recap why Kragthorpe is so well disregarded around here. First, it began with poor play on the heels of an Orange Bowl and greater expectations. Second, came the excuse making. Third, came the lame press conferences littered with cheap coach speak and lame cliche’s. Fourth, came more poor play. Fifth, came no bowl game. Sixth, came the Kragthorpe apologists attacking anyone and everyone who failed to support the chosen one. Seventh, came weak recruiting. Eighth, came more poor play. Nineth, came more excuses. Tenth, came firing coach after coach to save his own skin. Eleventh, came horrendous and embarrassing losses. 12th, came national ridicule of a once proud and up and coming program. 13th, came publicity gaffes and goofs. 14th, came more poor recruiting. 15th, came no excitement or energy in the program. So no, the guy has lost this fan forever, regardless the results of this season. What’s been done can’t be undid.

  10. Tom–Excellent post, although I’m probably on the other side of this issue.
    We live so close to the former home of Bobby Knight that I wonder someone hasn’t made the connection yet between him and Krags. Not that Krags is ever going to be the winning coach that Bobby Knight was, or anything like that! The point is that even though Bobby Knight was arguably a very good coach measured by winning records– to me and to thousands like me, he’s still an a**. I wouldn’t let my boys play for a guy like that (if I had any boys.)
    So let Krags win ’em all–it won’t make him the kind of person I want for the coach of our guys at U of L. And yes, I’ll go to games and cheer them on anyway, but I know how IU fans must have felt back in the Bobby Knight era. It’s kind of like waiting for the wind to blow away a bad smell–so you can get a breath of fresh air again. 2010 will be better, is my bet.

  11. I’m still behind these players. Always have, always will be. The jury is still out for me on Kragthorpe.

  12. What would happen? Well I guess I “could” win a million bucks, or I “could” get picked up by the Yankees like I always dreamed. Krag has to win to right the wrongs of the past two years, but I doubt a 10-2 season is in Krqags future, ever. Also Brent Guy was a defensive Coordinator at Arizona St. and he led his teams to a ranking in the 40’s on that side of the ball. Not exactly lighting it up. You would here less from me for sure “if” these things happened, but they won’t so you will still hear me complain.

  13. Interesting question. It’s true that winning cures all, so I’d be willing to bet that most of the complainers would stop vocalizing so much should he start winning (keep in mind he has NEVER had a 10-2 or 11-1 season). If he should how pull those kinds of seasons off, I would definitely tolerate him.

    As far as a person though, I can’t stand him. What gets me most of all is his “it’s on me” slogan he preaches while constantly throwing anyone and everyone around him under the bus. The administrative assistant was the last straw for me. This blatant hypocrisy shows he has some deep character issues, and just may not be the saint Jurich has made him out to be. To be blunt, if he were on fire I wouldn’t piss on him to put him out.

    1. Anonymous,
      Just to clear one thing up – by “administrative assistant” did you mean Greg Brohm (he was Dirctor of Fotball Operations)or did he also dismiss his personal administrative assistant?

      1. Tom:

        I was referring to the Admin. Asst. that he blamed for his no show to the KY Football Coaches Association when he was scheduled to be the main speaker. Greg’s dismissal occured after that, so I guess that is just icing on the cake!

        1. I can tell you with utmost certainy that it was not Greg Brohm who messed up the speaking engagement with the coaches.

          1. I realize they were two unrelated issues. I was just making the point that my dislike for Kragthorpe’s personal character was already solidified prior to Brohm’s transfer.

  14. It’s not like people hate Krag for no reason. They’re not evil, and they’re not fair weather fans. Krap took an Orange Bowl championship team and overnight turned it into a no-bowl team that loses to Syracuse every year. If he were to go 10-2, I think people would feel a bit better, but it’s not like that will erase the past two debacles. It might also depend on who the 2 were (for instance, if UK was one, it might still be difficult to turn public tide).

  15. My guess is that the level of hate, that’s what it is, has more to do with the won-lost record than anything else.

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