Kragthorpe affected by Parkinson’s
Assistant will remain as QB coach, relinquish coordinator duties
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU assistant coach Steve Kragthorpe has been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and is relinquishing his duties as offensive coordinator, but is remaining on the Tigers' staff.
Kragthorpe, who was hired during the offseason, will remain as the quarterbacks' coach while offensive line coach Greg Studrawa has been elevated to offensive coordinator.
"Our concern is for Steve and his family," LSU coach Les Miles said Thursday, the same day LSU held its first practice of fall camp. "We are all hopeful that he will have the opportunity to coach for a number of years and be at LSU and continue the things he has gotten started here.
"We will do whatever we can as an LSU football family to help Steve and his family during this difficult time."
Kragthorpe, 46, is the former head coach at Louisville (2007-09) and at Tulsa (2003-06). He replaced Gary Crowton on the LSU staff after Crowton left to take a position at Maryland.
"This is obviously a bit of a blow to myself, but by the same token we're a family of great faith and will be exactly where God wants us, and that is at LSU," Kragthorpe said. "I am very excited to coach the quarterbacks. ... I hope for the next 10, 12 or 14 years that I can be here at LSU coaching the quarterbacks. It is a place that I love. I love the team, the staff and working for Les."
LSU opens its regular season on Sept. 3 in a neutral-site clash with Oregon in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Miles said he is confident Studrawa is ready for his expanded role on the staff.
"I feel very comfortable in the direction we're going," Miles said. "This promotion for Greg gives us reason to not miss a beat and to continue on. First, Kragthorpe is going to be in every huddle, every play call and in the press box. He will assist fully with game plan and the passing game will be called with him and (receiver's coach) Billy Gonzales's thumb on it. Coach Studrawa will understand how to get it done."