Cincinnati hires Louisville’s Satterfield as football coach

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield walks down the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Lexington, Ky., Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Clubb)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Cincinnati has tweeted that it has hired Louisville’s Scott Satterfield to be its next coach.

Louisville was 7-5 this season under Satterfield and earned a berth in the Fenway Bowl, where coincidentally it will face Cincinnati. He replaces Luke Fickell, who recently left to become coach at Wisconsin.

“Welcome to Cincinnati, Coach Satterfield!” read the tweet posted Monday.

The Cardinals overcame starts of 2-3 overall and 0-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play with a 5-2 stretch run highlighted by wins over then-No. 10 Wake Forest, Pittsburgh and North Carolina State. Their disappointing start fueled speculation that Satterfield would be fired at midseason before Louisville won 31-17 at Virginia to begin its second-half surge toward bowl eligibility.

Satterfield departs following a somewhat tumultuous tenure after succeeding Bobby Petrino.

He inherited a Cardinals squad reeling from a 2-10 finish in 2018 and engineered a remarkable turnaround, ending 2019 with an 8-4 record and bowl victory. Louisville regressed to 4-7 against a 10-game ACC schedule in a coronavirus-marred 2020 season but seemed headed back to respectability last fall with a 6-6 regular season and another bowl appearance.

In between, Satterfield came under fire for talking with South Carolina about its coaching vacancy after initially denying contact. He later issued a public apology.

Last season ended with a 31-28 loss to Air Force in the First Responder Bowl, one of many defeats that highlighted Louisville’s defensive deficiencies. The Cardinals lost several games last season that they led in the fourth quarter, wasting the performances of a dynamic offense led by mobile quarterback Malik Cunningham.

Cunningham returned for his senior season determined to make the team competitive in an ACC largely dominated by Clemson. While he continued using his arm and feet to pile up yardage and points that should have won many games, the Cardinals continued their frustrating knack for blowing leads. Cunningham has missed games this season with a concussion and shoulder injury.

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