Kragthorpe steps down as coordinator, will coach quarterbacks
BATON ROUGE - Steve Kragthorpe has been diagnosed with Parkinson 's disease and will relinquish his role as LSU's offensive coordinator, but will remain on the staff as the quarterbacks coach, Les Miles announced on Thursday.
"Our concern is for Steve and his family," Miles said. "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 is in his first year at LSU after joining the Tigers in January.
"I want to thank Coach Miles for the opportunity to come here initially and for the opportunity to stay here," Kragthorpe said following LSU's first practice of fall camp on Thursday. "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.
"I am very excited to coach the quarterbacks. We have a great room. When I was the offensive coordinator before this happened it was all of us together in the same room. I think that will continue to remain that way. We have a great staff and a great group of guys. I hope for the next ten, 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."
Miles said that offensive line Greg Studrawa will take over for Kragthorpe as LSU's offensive coordinator. Studrawa, who is in his fifth year at LSU, served as the offensive coordinator at Bowling Green for four years before joining the Tigers in 2007.
"I feel very comfortable in the direction we're going," Miles said. "I told Coach Studrawa that this is a battlefield promotion. I hired Kragthorpe as coordinator, but we are fortunate to have a veteran offense and offensive coordinator that can step in and make these calls.
"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 Billy Gonzales's thumb on it. Coach Studrawa will understand how to get it done."
Thursday marked the first day of training camp for the Tigers as the LSU veterans practiced during the morning with the freshman and selected veterans scheduled for an afternoon workout. The Tigers will have another day of split squad practices on Friday before coming together as a unit for the first time on Saturday.
LSU opens its seventh season under Miles on Sept. 3 when they travel to face third-ranked Oregon in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas.