Kragthorpe named new Louisville coach


Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 10, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The last 24 hours had passed so quickly for Steve Kragthorpe, you couldn't blame him for a little slip of the tongue.

Moments after being introduced as Louisville's head coach on Tuesday, Kragthorpe was midway through an answer about how he'll approach recruiting when the day's dizzying events finally caught up with him.

"We're going to try and find the best players that fit the University of Tulsa," Kragthorpe said, before catching himself. "University of Tulsa? University of Louisville. I haven't slept in two days."

Neither, apparently, has Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, who capped a whirlwind courtship of his longtime friend by luring Kragthorpe away from Tulsa. The hiring came less than 48 hours after Bobby Petrino resigned to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

"We might have just concluded the shortest search in the history of the NCAA," Jurich joked.

Kragthorpe, 41, signed a five-year, $1.1-million deal that runs through the 2012 season, the first of what he hopes will be several contracts he signs with the Cardinals.

Kragthorpe's hiring wasn't fast enough to persuade running back Michael Bush to stay with the Cardinals. Bush said Tuesday that he was going to enter the NFL draft rather than accept a medical redshirt after breaking his right leg against Kentucky in September.

ALABAMA

New coach Nick Saban has hired three assistant coaches.

Kirby Smart, Kevin Steele and Lance Thompson joined his staff, but Saban hadn't assigned them titles or duties.

Smart spent last season as the Miami Dolphins' safeties coach under Saban after six years at the college level with Georgia, LSU, Florida State and Valdosta State.

Steele coached Baylor from 1999-02 and spent the last four seasons as linebackers coach at Florida State. He also worked with the NFL's Carolina Panthers and at Southeastern Conference rival Tennessee.

Thompson spent the last three years as defensive coordinator at Central Florida.

ARIZONA STATE

Tight end Zach Miller will forego his senior year and enter the NFL draft in April.

Miller announced his intentions at a campus news conference on Tuesday. His departure is a blow to new head coach Dennis Erickson, hired last month to replace Dirk Koetter, who was fired.

A second-team Associated Press All-America selection this season, Miller is the school's all-time leading receiver among tight ends. The Phoenix native led the Sun Devils in receptions (50), receiving yards (484) and touchdown catches (4) this season.

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