LOUISVILLE, Ky. - If there were any doubts that Scott Satterfield might not be Louisville's head football coach for the 2022 season, those thoughts have been officially put to bed.
Back on Dec. 3, amid rampant speculation that he might be let go, former UofL athletic director Vince Tyra confirmed that Satterfield would indeed be back for next season. But when Tyra resigned just six days later, many were led to believe that Satterfield's future with the program was called back into question.
In his first press conference as interim athletic director on Monday, Josh Heird cleared the air on the subject, saying that Satterfield will indeed be back for a fourth year with the program.
"Scott Satterfield is our football coach and we're happy that he's our football coach. I communicated that to their entire staff this morning," Heird said.
Heird was a part of the end-of-regular-season meeting that took place between Tyra and Satterfield on Dec. 3. Heird says that not only did the meeting last three hours, but that it was a very emotional meeting - with most of the emotion coming from Satterfield.
"He was very, very passionate about the fact that we need to be better than we were," Heird said.
Satterfield guided the Cardinals to 6-6 in the regular season to clinch a bowl berth, but it has been a roller coaster ride all year. They started the year by getting hammered against Ole Miss in Atlanta; lost games to Wake Forest, Virginia, NC State and Clemson thanks to blown fourth quarters; and ended the regular season by getting embarrassed by Kentucky for the third straight time.
Despite the mixed results, Heird believes that while the program is not where they want it to be, they are making progress, and they are going to continue to support the program.
"We're going to support him like heck, we're going to give him every resource to be successful," Heird said. "I think he will. I really, really do. If I didn't think that, it'd be a different conversation right now."
Heird touched upon a couple ways that the athletic department plans to support the program. He mentioned that the recruiting staff "isn't isn't at the size that it needs to be", and that they "need to beef that up". He also voiced the importance of a "player development position", and that it would "almost certainly" go to a former player.
Like Tyra mentioned when he first confirmed Satterfield would be back, Heird said that the plan that Satterfield put together in their Dec. 3 meeting was "eye-opening". Heird also noted that Satterfield was both emotional about the plan, but also regarding "making sure people know that he wants to be here".
"That's something Scott and I've talked about, and I know Vince and Scott have talked about that," he said. "I've said, 'Scott, it's okay to show those emotions outside of the locker room'. There are times that I wish we could pull the curtain back a little bit, for fans or media to see, that he does show emotion in the locker room."
Louisville is currently in the midst of planning for their upcoming matchup with Air Force in the First Responder Bowl, which is set for Tuesday, Dec. 28 at 3:15 p.m. EST.
(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter