Utah State Coach John L. Smith was hired yesterday as head football coach at Louisville, where he inherits a team that just finished the worst season in school history. Smith's hiring ended a quick courtship and came less than a week after Louisville fired embattled coach Ron Cooper after three seasons. The Cardinals finished 1-10 this season, with their lone victory against winless Illinois.
AD Tom Jurich said Smith's five-year contract calls for a base salary of $150,000 per year, $150,000 per year in broadcast fees and another deferred annual payment of $75,000 -- for a total of $375,000 per year.
Louisville won't be Smith's first rebuilding job. He turned a struggling Utah State program into a Big West champion in just three seasons. Utah State will play in the Humanitarian Bowl on Dec. 29.
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