Scott Satterfield Hops from Louisville to Cincinnati in Sudden Bearcats Coaching Deal

The deal came together quickly on Dec. 4, sources say.

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click to enlarge Former University of Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield is heading to the University of Cincinnati for the same job as a Bearcat. - Photo: twitter.com/gocards
Photo: twitter.com/gocards
Former University of Louisville head football coach Scott Satterfield is heading to the University of Cincinnati for the same job as a Bearcat.

Well, the upcoming Wasabi Fenway Bowl game just got a lot more interesting.

The University of Cincinnati announced Dec. 5 that University of Louisville's Scott Satterfield has become the Bearcats' new head football coach. Cincinnati and Louisville will square off in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston on Dec. 17, so Satterfield's sudden move to rival UC comes as a surprise to many college football experts.

Satterfield is stepping into the role that Luke Fickell vacated on Nov. 27 when he announced that he was leaving to lead the University of Wisconson's team. The Bearcats are 9-3 this season with a 6-2 conference record, good third in the American Athletic Conference. The team is gearing up to move to the Big 12, a much more competitive conference.

Kerry Coombs, UC's cornerback and special teams coordinator, served as interim coach after Fickell's departure.

"I am honored to be the next head coach at the University of Cincinnati and am looking forward to building on the winning tradition this program has had over the last 20 years," Satterfield said in a UC news release on Dec. 5. "My family and I have admired this university and athletic department from afar for many years. I'm excited to take Cincinnati into the Big 12 this fall and ready to compete for championships."

Satterfield, now UC's 43rd head coach, had been leading the Louisville Cardinals since the 2019 season, posting 25-24 record with three bowl games over four seasons. Before that, Satterfield compiled a 51-24 record over six seasons at Appalachian State University, his alma mater where he earned first-team all-conference honors as a quarterback.

Louisville ended 2022 with a 7-5 record.in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
"Scott Satterfield is a proven winner, a relentless competitor and a culture builder," UC's athletic director John Cunningham said. "He's an innovative offensive mind and a leader who develops men on and off the field. He's the perfect fit to grow this program and lead us into the Big 12 next season and beyond. I'm thrilled to welcome Scott, his wife, Beth, and their three children, Bryce, Isaac and Alli to Cincinnati."

According to Justin Williams, writer for The Athletic, Cincinnati will pay a $3.5 million buyout for Satterfield to move from Louisville. That's the same amount that Fickell must pay Cincinnati for leaving for Wisconsin. "All early indications are that the deal between Satterfield and Cincinnati came together very quickly yesterday [Dec. 4] and wasn't finalized until very late Sunday night," Williams also reported.

Satterfield is expected to address the media later on Dec. 5.

Deion Sanders says no

Satterfield's ascent to the UC football job especially may be a shock for fans who were rooting for Deion Sanders to return to Cincy. The two-time Super Bowl champ and former Cincinnati Reds outfielder reportedly was considering the job but announced Dec. 3 that he accepted the head coach position at Colorado State University. Sanders led Jackson State University to its second straight SWAC championship just before the Colorado news broke.

In the NFL, Sanders primarily was a cornerback and punt returner. In 1994, he was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year and helped the San Francisco 49ers win the Super Bowl. The following year he again won the championship, this time with the Dallas Cowboys. 
But sports fans will remember that Sanders not only was a notable NFL player, but also an MLB player, including in Cincinnati. He spent nine seasons playing professional baseball, overlapping with his 14 seasons in football. Sanders compiled a .263 average, 39 homers, 168 RBI, 186 stolen bases over 641 total games.

Sanders joined the Cincinnati Reds in 1994, batting .277 and stealing 19 bases over 46 games. He stole another 16 bases in 1995 before being traded to the San Francisco Giants. Sanders returned to Cincinnati in 1997, hitting .273 with 56 stolen bases before taking a hiatus from the game. In 2001, he hit just .173 over 32 games before being released and concentrating only on the NFL. "Football is my wife and baseball is my mistress," Sanders famously said.

Sanders is the only player ever to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, and he's the only player to hit the field in both sports on the same day.

Wasabi Fenway Bowl looms

UC will play Louisville in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl at Fenway Park in Boston on Dec. 17. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m.

For years, Cincinnati and Louisville had faced each other across different conferences in a rivalry called "Keg of Nails." The teams haven't battled since before Louisville began playing in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

The Wasabi Fenway Bowl will be the first college football game ever played at Fenway.


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