What hot seat? Satterfield says Cards is going in the right direction
Posted at 11:03 a.m. on Thursday, September 1, 2022
Consecutive losing seasons. A flirtation with South Carolina that prompted a public apology. Two resounding defeats against Kentucky. Fan dissatisfaction, reflected in dwindling attendance at Cardinal Stadium.
These are some of the reasons why this looks like a pivotal season for Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield, and why his name is on nearly every hot-spot coaching list. In the ACC, he shares that dubious distinction with Georgia Tech’s Geoff Collins and Syracuse’s Dino Babers, not exactly welcome.
Satterfield’s perceived fragile status is the elephant in the room and no one had broached the touchy subject until I asked him at the first of his weekly press conferences on Tuesday afternoon if he considered this season as a critic both for himself and for the program. I also asked for his reaction when he sees his name on a hot seat list.
“For me, I think every year is a pivotal year,” Satterfield said. “I mean, it doesn’t matter, you have to go and win in this business. There is no one who wants to be average. No one wants to be below average. I mean, you have to go and win football games and we all know that. We feel like we’re headed in the right direction and we’ve been headed in the right direction since we’ve been here.
“We’ve had a lot of tough things to do over the last three years, you know, and we’ve weathered the storm. We keep fighting, keep fighting and I approach every year that way. Nothing changes for me and my staff and how we approach it. It’s been a great offseason, so we’re going to go out there and hopefully put some great product on the field and win a few games.
When it came to the hot seat factor, Satterfield — who is always cordial and ready to answer any questions from the media, no matter how uncomfortable the topic — was uncharacteristically quiet.
He ignored the question the first time, so I asked again and he shrugged and said softly, “I’m not reacting to that.
So how likely is Satterfield to lose his job as he enters his fourth season with the Cards? Short of a complete meltdown on the pitch, the UofL’s searing recruitment for the Class of 2023, a run that produced an unprecedented top-15 finish, could be enough to save it if the Cards fall short of expectations. , despite returning 17 starters from a team that lost four games by a touchdown or less in 2021.
Citing recruiting success and what he sees as high-quality staff, sporting director Josh Heird didn’t sound like a man considering a coaching change when he discussed the football program with WDRB columnist Rick Bozich in mid-July.
“I think Scott is evaluating his program and saying, ‘Hey, what do we need to change? What do we need to change? “I think he has a great staff around him. If you look at some of the additions and changes he made in the weight room with Ben Sowders, then you’re looking at (offensive coordinator) Lance Taylor and (co-defensive coordinator) Wesley McGriff. . .you continue straight on that list, and that created momentum.
“Now we have to win football matches. But it’s really nice to have positive momentum on your side. And I’m optimistic, really. I just think a lot of good things are happening there in the Schellenberger complex. Hopefully this translates into wins in September and October.
We’ll find out soon enough, when those first returns start arriving from Saturday night.
Satterfield can sell a bright future due to the looming recruiting class, and a good class has been enough to save a number of managers whose tenures were in jeopardy. But if UofL stumbles out of the gate in road games in Syracuse and Central Florida before they even play their home opener against Florida State on Sept. 16, fan grunts are likely to pick up and all bets are off.