Reports: Louisville Defensive Coordinator Ron English to Become Head Coach at Eastern Michigan

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reports indicate that Louisville Defensive Coordinator Ron English will inherit an Eastern Michigan football team that went 3-9 this season and 16-42 overall under former head coach Jeff Genyk.

English, who was in his first season in Louisville under Steve Kragthorpe, previously headed a defense under Lloyd Carr at Michigan and was promptly relieved of his duties there by Rich Rodriguez when Rodriguez was hired to lead the Wolverines. He was then hired by Kragthorpe who was desperate to upgrade a defense that ranked 84th in the country in 2007. Unfortunately however, English led only marginal gains in the Cardinal defense, as the team ranked 69th in overall defense this season, although the team experienced in an inordinate amount of injuries on the defensive side of the ball.

In a hiring season marred by racial tension, especially in regards the potential hiring of Buffalo Head Coach Turner Gill at many schools, Ron English becomes only the fifth head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Steve Kragthorpe can't be pleased with the progression of his team's defense, and although Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich has publicly backed his much maligned head coach, Kragthorpe knows that next season could very well be "make or break" for him. Louisville's offense was certainly more of a problem for the Cardinals this season, but the departure of Ron English will also allow Kragthorpe to make a serious upgrade.

Look for Kragthorpe to pursue TCU defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas, who has led a Horned Frog defense that has ranked no less than 25th nationally over the past four years (including a number 2 ranking this season, and two years ago). Another option could be Northern Illinois Defensive Coordinator Tracy Claeys.

On a less serious note, maybe U of L should consider hiring recently fired Syracuse Head Coach Greg Robinson. Out of Robinson's 10 wins in four seasons as Orange Head Coach, two of them were against the Cardinals. GROB, as he is affectionately known amongst the Syracuse faithful was a career defensive coordinator with stints in the NFL and more recently at the University of Texas prior to becoming head coach at Syracuse. You know what they say: "If you can't beat em', hire em'." Why the heck not, right?

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