Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich moved quickly in his search to replace fired coach Ron Cooper, asking permission from Utah State to speak with coach John L. Smith.
Utah State athletic director Chuck Bell said Thursday that he had spoken with Jurich and granted his request.
Smith led Utah State’s Aggies to a 6-4 record this season with one game remaining, Saturday at North Texas. Known for a wide-open offense, Smith is credited with turning around the program.
Smith, a former coach at Idaho, was 4-7 in his first season at Utah State and 6-5 last year in the Aggies’ second winning season in 16 years.
Smith is “the best there is,” Bell said he told Jurich on Thursday.
Louisville fired Cooper on Wednesday after the Cardinals went 1-10.