Jan. 18, 2007
Louisville, Ky. -
University of Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe has completed his staff with hiring of Tony Alford as the running backs coach.
Alford comes to the Derby City after playing a major role in solidifying Iowa State's reputation as one of the most successful programs nationally rushing the football. Under Alford's guidance, Iowa State was one of only three NCAA Division I schools to have produced a 1,000-yard rusher annually between 1995 and 2001.
After one year at Washington, Alford returned to ISU as
assistant head coach in 2002. The 2005 EV1.net Houston Bowl was
Alford's fourth postseason appearance with the Cyclones.
Under Alford, tailback Stevie Hicks became the third Iowa State
rusher to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier since 1997 with 1,062 yards
On special teams, Alford turned the Cyclone kickoff return unit
into the Big 12's best. ISU led the league and ranked 20th nationally,
averaging 23.2 yards per return in 2004. The Cyclones were ranked
17th nationally last season (23.4). It was a dramatic improvement
from ranking 86th nationally and 10th in the Big 12 in 2003.
Alford was on the Cyclones' 2000 Insight.com Bowl championship
staff that claimed the fi rst bowl victory in ISU history en
route to a 9-3 record. First-team all-Big 12 tailback Ennis Haywood
ranked 10th nationally in rushing and led the league with 1,237
yards. When Haywood was sidelined by injury at Oklahoma State,
Michael Wagner stepped in and rushed for a freshman
school-record 170 yards and two touchdowns.
Cyclone tailback Darren Davis passed the 1,000-
yard rushing barrier in Alford's fi rst three seasons
in Ames and finished his career as the No. 2 rusher
in school history. During Alford's initial four years
in Ames, Iowa State improved from 103rd to 17th
nationally in rushing, averaging more than 200
yards per game on the ground in 1999, 2000 and
In the 2000 regular-season fi nale against
Kansas, Haywood and Wagner each topped 100
yards rushing. Alford's backs take care of the football. Iowa
State running backs have lost only 13 fumbles in
Alford's eight years at ISU. That includes all rushes,
receptions and returns by ISU running backs under
Alford. Those 13 lost fumbles during Alford's last 95
ISU games came among a total of 3,001 "touches"
for 13,721 yards. That is an average of 231 carries,
receptions or returns between fumbles lost and only one fumble
lost for every 1,056 yards.
Alford, a former all-Western Athletic Conference running back
who was a Doak Walker Award nominee, was running backs coach
on Washington's 2001 Holiday Bowl squad. Under Alford, Husky
tailback Willie Hurst became the ninth back in Washington history
to rush for more than 2,000 career yards.
Alford earned honorable mention honors at Colorado State on
USA Today's 1989 All-America team and was named to the WAC
fi rst-team all-conference squad. The 1992 CSU graduate with a
bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science set a conference
single-game rushing record with 310 rushing yards against Utah
and was nominated for the 1989 Doak Walker Award.
Alford went on to play for the NFL's Denver Broncos in preseason
action and the Birmingham Fire of the World League prior
to entering the coaching profession.
Alford was the running backs coach at Mt. Union College in
1995 and at Kent in 1996. He helped the Raiders to a 12-1 record
and the NCAA Division III semifi nals.
He has also served as an assistant coach at high schools in Lake Wales, Fla., and Fort Collins, Colo. Alford and his wife Trina have three sons (Rylan, Kyler,