Louisville’s Scott Satterfield has done enough to keep his job for the 2023 season. But when the boarding area opened up to restart his watch and avoid the obvious hot seat situation, he jumped at the chance.
Satterfield left Louisville on Monday for Cincinnati, the U of L rival school in four conferences, the latest being the Big East. The clumsy move is exacerbated by Sunday’s Wasabi Fenway Bowl pairing, which sees Louisville take on Cincinnati in a revival of the Keg of Nails game.
Although Satterfield’s departure was sudden, it seemed that he would never stay long at work in Louisville. Things haven’t gone well since 2019, when Satterfield won the ACC Coach of the Year award in his first season. Satterfield’s flirtation with South Carolina in December 2020 hurt Louisville fans, whose group will never forgive him. However, the Cardinals recruited well over the summer, brought back talented quarterback Malik Cunningham, and looked to have a shot at an ACC challenge. Athletic director Josh Heird, appointed to a permanent position in June, oversaw football and was seen as an ally of Sutterfield even as many fans washed their hands of him. But Satterfield was never really up to the job.
He’s a good coach who went 51-24 in Appalachian State, his alma mater, but has always seemed much better suited to work in his home state of North Carolina. Even South Carolina would suit Satterfield better than Louisville. The subway in another region simply did not click.
The job in Louisville is one of the best in the ACC. The school has invested in the program and upgraded its stadium and other facilities. Louisville has access to a wide range of recruiters and has been successful in up-and-coming states such as Florida and Georgia, as well as in its own state/region. The Cardinals were a consistent bowling team and in four of the five years under Charlie Strong and Bobby Petrino were in the top 25 in the AP rankings.
Louisville’s coaching search is likely to take a different path than others this cycle. The program seems to have a clear training goal – the beloved son of the city’s most famous football family. Louisville can’t limit the search to one person, so below is a moderate list of other candidates, but there will be some level of surprise if U of L doesn’t find their person this time around.