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Dave Kragthorpe

Dave Kragthorpe

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Dave Kragthorpe is a former American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

 player and coach. He served as the head football coach at South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University is the largest university in the U.S. state of South Dakota, located in Brookings. A public land-grant university and sun grant college, founded under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act, SDSU offers programs of study required by, or harmonious to, this Act...

 in 1969, at Idaho State University
Idaho State University
Idaho State University is a public university located in Pocatello, Idaho. It has outreach programs in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Falls, Boise, and Twin Falls....

 from 1980 to 1982, and at Oregon State University
Oregon State University
Oregon State University is a coeducational, public research university located in Corvallis, Oregon, United States. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees and a multitude of research opportunities. There are more than 200 academic degree programs offered through the...

 from 1985 to 1990, compiling a career college football
College football
College football refers to American football played by teams of student athletes fielded by American universities, colleges, and military academies, or Canadian football played by teams of student athletes fielded by Canadian universities...

 record of 41–69–2.

Early life

Kragthorpe attended Utah State University
Utah State University
Utah State University is a public university located in Logan, Utah. It is a land-grant and space-grant institution and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities....

 where he excelled as a two-way tackle for the Aggies
Utah State Aggies football
The Utah State Aggies are a college football team that competes in the Western Athletic Conference of the Football Bowl Subdivision of NCAA Division I, representing Utah State University. The Utah State college football program began in 1892 and has played home games at Romney Stadium since 1968...

 from 1951 to 1954. In addition, he was also on the baseball team. Despite all his athletic obligations, Kragthorpe graduated with double bachelors' degrees in physical education and recreation education in 1955. A short time later, he returned to Utah State and earned his master's degree in secondary education.

Coaching career

Kragthorpe spent one season as the head coach at South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University
South Dakota State University is the largest university in the U.S. state of South Dakota, located in Brookings. A public land-grant university and sun grant college, founded under the provisions of the 1862 Morrill Act, SDSU offers programs of study required by, or harmonious to, this Act...

 in 1969. In that season, he posted a 3–7 record. From there, Dave served as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University is a private university located in Provo, Utah. It is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints , and is the United States' largest religious university and third-largest private university.Approximately 98% of the university's 34,000 students...

, under LaVell Edwards
LaVell Edwards
R. LaVell Edwards is a former American football coach of Brigham Young University . With 257 career victories, he ranks as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time...

. The Cougars were one of the first programs committed to throwing the football in the 1970s, a time when "three yards and a cloud of dust" was still the dominant sentiment in college football.

After going 0–11 in 1979, Idaho State athletic director, I. J. Babe Caccia, decided to try to import some of the passing magic from nearby Provo, Utah
Provo, Utah
Provo is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Utah, located about south of Salt Lake City along the Wasatch Front. Provo is the county seat of Utah County and lies between the cities of Orem to the north and Springville to the south...

. He hired Kragthorpe as his head coach, and the Bengals immediately improved to 6–5 his first season, 1980, coming within a final game loss to eventual national champion Boise State from winning a share of the Big Sky Conference
Big Sky Conference
The Big Sky Conference is an intercollegiate college athletic conference affiliated with the NCAA's Division I, with football competing in the Football Championship Subdivision. The BSC was founded in 1963. Member institutions are located in the western United States in the states of Arizona,...

 championship and going to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

Kragthorpe recorded a 21–14 record in three seasons, from 1980 to 1982. The best results were definitely in his second season, a 12–1 season in 1981, when the Bengals won the Big Sky Conference title and the NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship behind quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 Mike Machurek, who went on to become a reserve player with the Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions are a professional American football team based in Detroit, Michigan. They are members of the North Division of the National Football Conference in the National Football League , and play their home games at Ford Field in Downtown Detroit.Originally based in Portsmouth, Ohio and...

. During the 1981 season, Idaho State outscored its opponents 422–172.

In the 1983, Kragthorpe stepped away from the sidelines to take over as athletics director at Utah State University. After two years in this capacity, he returned to coaching in 1985.

In 1985, Kragthorpe was named the head coach at Oregon State. He implemented a pass-oriented offense, penned the "Air Express" in Corvallis
Corvallis, Oregon
Corvallis is a city located in central western Oregon, United States. It is the county seat of Benton County and the principal city of the Corvallis, Oregon Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Benton County. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 54,462....

. This offense did not correlate to much success in the Pacific-10 Conference, as Kragthorpe failed to have a winning record in any of his six seasons with Oregon State, compiling an overall record of 17–48–2. In recognition of how difficult the Oregon State job was perceived to be in those days, Kragthorpe won the Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1989, despite having a losing record that year with the Beavers.

1985 Oregon State vs. Washington

Despite Kragthorpe's record at Oregon State, he will be forever linked to one if the greatest wins in Oregon State history. In his first season under the helm at OSU, Kragthorpe took his team in to Husky Stadium
Husky Stadium
Husky Stadium is an outdoor athletic stadium on the campus of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the home of the Washington Huskies...

 in Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

 to take on the Washington Huskies. The Beavers entered the game as 38-point underdogs. After sixty minutes of play, and a blocked punt with 1:29 left to go in the game that was recovered for a Beaver touchdown, Oregon State pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history, 21–20.

Coaching tree

Kragthorpe's "coaching tree" includes both Jim and Brent Koetter, multiple state championship winning coaches at Pocatello and Highland High School in Pocatello; Marvin Lewis
Marvin Lewis
Marvin Ronald Lewis is the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League, a position he has held since January 14, 2003...

, who played and coached under Kragthorpe at ISU, now head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals; and Mike Shepherd, receivers and quarterbacks coach under Kragthorpe at Idaho State; who has had a long career as a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in the National Football League.

Later life

In 1994, Kragthorpe was hired by the USU Alumni Association to resurrect the university's alumni chapters program. Despite officially retiring in 2001, Kragthorpe can still be found at his desk in the Alumni Office, overseeing the USU alumni chapters in Idaho and northern Nevada.

Kragthorpe is a huge supporter of USU and Aggie athletics. He is a member of the Old Main Society, Alumni Sustaining Membership program, Big Blue Club, and the Emeriti Association. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award. His love of sports continues to live on in his children also. His son, Kurt, is a sports writer for the Salt Lake Tribune. Another son, Steve Kragthorpe
Steve Kragthorpe
Steve Kragthorpe is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the quarterbacks coach for the Louisiana State University Tigers football team. He was head coach at Louisville from 2007 to 2009, and for Tulsa from 2003 through 2006.- Early career :Kragthorpe was born in...

, was the head football coach at the University of Louisville
University of Louisville
The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. When founded in 1798, it was the first city-owned public university in the United States and one of the first universities chartered west of the Allegheny Mountains. The university is mandated by the Kentucky General...

 from 2007 to 2009, but was fired in November 2009.

Kragthorpe and his wife, Barbara, split their time between Logan, Utah
Logan, Utah
-Layout of the City:Logan's city grid originates from its Main and Center Street block, with Main Street running north and south, and Center east and west. Each block north, east, south, or west of the origin accumulates in additions of 100 , though some streets have non-numeric names...

 and Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...


Head coaching record

External links