Cincinnati hires Louisville’s Satterfield to replace Fickell

Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Cincinnati hired Louisville’s Scott Satterfield to be its next coach, the university announced.

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.

Satterfield said he was honored to become coach of the Bearcats and looked forward to continuing the program’s winning tradition.

“I’m excited to take Cincinnati into the Big 12 this fall and ready to compete for championships,” he said in a statement. “I’m most looking forward to meeting the current team and beginning to build relationships with these young men. We will hit the ground running today.”

Athletic director John Cunningham called Satterfield “a proven winner” and noted his competitiveness and culture-building.

“He’s an innovative offensive mind and a leader who develops men on and off the field,” Cunningham said in the statement. “He’s the perfect fit to grow this program and lead us into the Big 12 next season and beyond.”

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 at midseason that Satterfield would be fired before Louisville won 34-17 at Virginia to begin its second-half surge toward bowl eligibility. It also finished 4-4 in league play despite a 31-16 loss at Clemson.

Louisville athletic director Josh Heird wished Satterfield well in a statement and said he was grateful for his dedication to the program. A search was on for Satterfield’s successor.

“We will be looking for a tremendous leader who recognizes both the history and potential of Louisville Football and is committed long term to helping the program reach new heights,” Heird said.

Louisville later announced that player development director Deion Branch, a former Cardinals star and Super Bowl MVP with the Patriots, will serve as interim coach for the bowl game. Heird said at a news conference that he didn’t anticipate Branch or anyone on the current staff becoming candidates for the permanent job.

Satterfield, who signed a six-year contract through Dec. 31, 2024, with an annual base salary of $3.25 million, departs Louisville following a somewhat tumultuous tenure after succeeding Bobby Petrino following a highly successful chapter guiding Appalachian State.

He inherited a Cardinals squad reeling from a 2-10 finish in 2018 and engineered a remarkable turnaround, ending 2019 with an 8-5 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 early on. The fifth-year senior has missed games this season with a concussion and shoulder injury.

At the same time, Cunningham has executed Satterfield’s high-octane offense into one of the ACC’s best attacks. The Cardinals ranked fifth in total offense during the regular season (405.5 yards per game) thanks to a ground game that averages 193.8 yards. This despite using Cunningham and backup Brock Domann behind center.

Louisville’s defense also improved, ranking second in the FBS with 43 sacks.

Louisville enters the Fenway Bowl looking to rebound from a 26-13 loss to Kentucky that left Satterfield 0-3 against the Cardinals’ archrival and 25-24 overall.

And now, having to find his replacement.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.