Aug. 16, 2005
CBS wire reports

TULSA, Okla. -- A six-year contract extension will give Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe an opportunity to build on his early success in turning around a struggling football program, the university announced Tuesday.


Terms of the contract were not disclosed by the private university, where Kragthorpe is entering his third season as Golden Hurricane head coach.

Tulsa went to its first bowl game in 12 years during Kragthorpe's first season in 2003. With seven more wins than the previous year at 8-5, Tulsa posted Division I-A's biggest turnaround.

The Golden Hurricane fell to 4-8 last year, but two of the losses came in overtime and a third on a last-second field goal against No. 18 Boise State. Tulsa's 37-35 victory over No. 24 UTEP was the first time it had defeated a ranked opponent in nine seasons.

"Steve has done a tremendous job rebuilding the Tulsa football program during his first two years. We are excited about the upcoming season, and an even brighter future beyond," TU President Steadman Upham said.

The contract extension keeps Kragthorpe employed through the 2010-11 academic year.

Kragthorpe said the contract, along with the school's move to Conference USA and improvements at Skelly Stadium, is evidence of the university's commitment to football.

"This action speaks very loudly in terms of the direction we are headed with our football program," he said.

Kragthorpe came to Tulsa after two years of coaching quarterbacks for the NFL's Buffalo Bills.

He was named the Western Athletic Conference coach of the year in 2003 and was also a candidate for numerous national coach of the year awards.

The Associated Press News Service

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