Steve Kragthorpe, who spent seven years as the head coach at Tulsa and Louisville, enters his fourth year on the LSU staff in 2014. After serving as quarterbacks coach during his first two years with the Tigers, Kragthorpe moved to the role of special assistant to the head coach and chief of staff for the LSU football program in 2013. He will serve in the same capacity in 2014.
Among his responsibilities for the Tigers include overseeing and mentoring LSU's graduate assistants and interns; self-scouting of the LSU football team; assist head coach with communication and coordination of all support groups within the football program.
Kragthorpe joined the Tigers in January of 2011 and was originally tabbed as LSU's offensive coordinator. However, Kragthorpe relinquished that role before the start of fall practice after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. Kragthorpe remained as LSU's quarterbacks coach in 2011 and 2012 helping the Tigers to the school's first 13-0 regular season in school history in 2011 followed by a 10-3 mark in 2012.
Kragthorpe broke into the head coaching ranks in 2003 at Tulsa where he resurrected the Golden Hurricane program. Prior to his arrival in 2003, Tulsa had suffered through 11 straight seasons with a losing record. In his first year, Kragthorpe guided Tulsa to an 8-5 record and an appearance in the Humanitarian Bowl, which was the first post-season game for the Golden Hurricane since 1991.
He was named WAC Coach of the Year in 2003, a season that saw Tulsa post the biggest turnaround in college football, going from 1-11 in 2002 to 8-5 in 2003. Kragthorpe was also a finalist for the Bear Bryant and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Awards in 2003.
Two years later in 2005, Kragthorpe led Tulsa to the Conference USA title with a 9-4 record and a 44-27 win over UCF in the C-USA Championship Game. Tulsa capped the 2005 season with a 31-24 victory over Fresno State in the Liberty Bowl, the first bowl victory for the Golden Hurricane since a 28-17 win over San Diego State in the 1991 Freedom Bowl.
In his fourth and final season at Tulsa in 2006, the Golden Hurricane went 8-5 and earned a berth in the Armed Forces Bowl. In four years at Tulsa, Kragthorpe went 29-22 and became only the second coach in school history to lead the Golden Hurricane to three bowl games.
Kragthorpe took over as head coach at Louisville in 2007, coaching the Cardinals for three years, going 15-21. In seven years as a collegiate head coach, Kragthorpe has a 44-43 overall mark.
As a player, Kragthorpe spent two years at Eastern New Mexico before transferring to West Texas State. As a senior at West Texas State in 1987, he started 11 games and threw for 1,980 yards and nine touchdowns. Kragthorpe graduated from West Texas State (now West Texas A&M) in 1988 and then added a Master's degree in business administration from Oregon State in 1989.
Kragthorpe, a native of Missoula, Mont., and his wife Cynthia, have three sons – Chris, Brad and Nik. Chris is a graduate assistant with the LSU football team, Brad is a backup quarterback for the Tigers, while Nik is a student assistant in the LSU Sports information Department.
The Kragthorpe File
Year at LSU: Fourth (appointed Jan. 20, 2011)
Birthdate: April 28, 1965 in Missoula, Mont.
Children: Chris, Brad, and Nik
College: West Texas State, '88; Oregon State, '89 (master's in business administration)
1983-84 Eastern New Mexico (quarterback)
1986-87 West Texas State (quarterback)
1988-89 Oregon State (graduate assistant)
1990-93 Northern Arizona (quarterbacks, 1990; offensive coordinator/quarterbacks, 1992-93)
1994-95 North Texas (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1996 Boston College (quarterbacks)
1997-2000 Texas A&M (offensive coordinator/wide receivers)
2001-02 Buffalo Bills (quarterbacks)
2003-06 Tulsa (head coach)
2007-09 Louisville (head coach)
2011-12 LSU (quarterbacks)
2013-14 LSU (special assistant to head coach/chief of staff)
Year Bowl Team Opponent Results
1997 Cotton Texas A&M UCLA L, 29-23
1998 Sugar Texas A&M Ohio State L, 24-14
1999 Alamo Texas A&M Penn State L, 24-0
2000 Independence Texas A&M Mississippi State L, 43-41
2003 Humanitarian Texas A&M Georgia Tech L, 52-10
2005 Liberty Tulsa Fresno State W, 31-24
2006 Armed Forces Tulsa Utah L, 25-13
2012 BCS LSU Alabama L, 21-0
2013 Chick-fil-A LSU Clemson L, 25-24
2014 Outback LSU Iowa W, 21-14