Cincinnati has reportedly made a surprise hire to replace Luke Fickell.
According to multiple reports, Louisville coach Scott Satterfield is set to be the Bearcats’ next coach. The Cardinals went 7-5 in 2022 and are set to play Cincinnati in the Fenway Bowl on Dec. 17. That bowl game just became a heck of a lot more intriguing.
The move to hire Satterfield comes as the Fenway Bowl is Cincy’s last game as a member of the American Athletic Conference. The Bearcats are heading to the Big 12 in 2023.
It may seem odd for a coach to head from a Power Five school to one that’s about to become one, but Satterfield’s move makes sense. He’s been at Louisville for four seasons and his best season so far was an 8-5 campaign in 2019. The Cardinals finished below .500 in each of the past two seasons and there were whispers that Louisville could be in the market for a coaching change after a 2-3 start in 2022.
To Satterfield and the program’s credit, the Cardinals reeled off four consecutive wins over the middle of the season to get bowl eligible. Louisville’s last four wins of the season all came over teams that finished with winning records including Pitt, James Madison and North Carolina State.
But it’s not like Satterfield is leaving a program with a storied football history. The Cardinals have just six 10-win seasons in program history. Louisville’s last 10-win season came in 2013.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, was 9-3 in 2022 and is just a year removed from a College Football Playoff appearance. With Oklahoma and Texas heading to the SEC in a couple of years, the Big 12 is set to be wide open. And there’s no reason that Cincinnati can’t be a regular contender. The Bearcats have won 11 or more games in three of the last five seasons and have eight 10-win seasons in the 2000s.
With Satterfield heading north, most Louisville fans’ eyes will also turn north towards Indiana and Purdue coach Jeff Brohm. The former Louisville quarterback has long been the dream coach for many Cardinal fans and said in May that it was a “tough call” to stay at Purdue in 2018 when Louisville was looking for a coach and ultimately hired Satterfield.
Brohm said that “it was just too early to leave” Purdue four years ago. Would it be too early to leave now? And would he still be interested?