College football: Steve Kragthorpe replaces Gary Crowton at LSU

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Jan. 21 2011 12:12 a.m. MST

BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU coach Les Miles hired former Louisville and Tulsa head coach Steve Kragthorpe as his new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach on Thursday.

Kragthorpe will fill the post vacated by Gary Crowton, who after four seasons at LSU has taken a similar position on Randy Edsall's first-year staff at Maryland.

"This is a great opportunity to join the coaching staff for one of the top programs in college football and to compete in a league as strong and competitive as the SEC," Kragthorpe said.

LSU went 11-2 this season, beating Texas A&M 41-24 in the Cotton Bowl. However, the Tigers struggling with consistency on offense.

LSU ranked fourth in the 12-team SEC in rushing with 185.7 yards per game and last in the league in passing with 155.6 yards per game.

Last month, however, Miles signed 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior college transfer quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a former top Georgia recruit who was dismissed by the Bulldogs because of legal trouble.

Mettenberger will compete for snaps with rising senior Jordan Jefferson, who struggled for long stretches but is coming off an impressive performance in the Cotton Bowl in which he threw for three touchdowns — including passes of 41 and 42 yards — and ran for another score against the Aggies.

"Steve brings to our staff the type of experience necessary to develop quarterbacks," Miles said. "He's an experienced play-caller who will bring a great deal of enthusiasm and energy to the staff."

After taking over for Bobby Petrino in Louisville in 2007, Kragthorpe went 15-21 during three seasons. Before that, he was 29-22 in four seasons at Tulsa and was only the second coach to lead the Golden Hurricane to three bowl games.

He began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Oregon State in 1988 and in 1996 served as Boston College's quarterbacks coach. There, he worked with Matt Hasselbeck, who has since flourished in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.

Kragthorpe went on to serve as offensive coordinator at Texas A&M and as quarterbacks coach for the Buffalo Bills before taking over at Tulsa in 2003.

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