City Social Magazine

SEP 2014

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 13 of 59

14 By rosalind Tuminello 14 r E A D U S O N L I N E A T w w w . C I T y S O C I A L . C O m A Family of Tigers The Kragthorpes Embrace LSU and Baton rouge "I love to take visitors to all the interesting and unusual sites that makes Louisiana unique—the fabulous LSU campus, the romantic antebellum plantation homes, and of course, the swamp tours," said Cynthia. B aton Rouge [is] really a wonderful place to have a family—the culture, the weather, the people—we love it," said Cynthia Kragthorpe, wife of LSU's Steve Kragthorpe, special assistant to the head coach/chief of staff for LSU football. Steve Kragthorpe, a two-time former head coach before accepting a position at LSU, arrived in Baton Rouge in 2011, and it did not take long for him, Cynthia and their three sons to become an integral part of the LSU phenomenon. Son Chris, age 25, is pursuing his master's degree at LSU in education/administra- tion, and he coaches there, also, as a graduate assistant coach. Brad, age 22, forfeited a football scholarship to a college in Idaho and sought a walk-on position on the LSU football team. The youngest son, Nik, attended University High School and decided he wanted to stay in Baton Rouge and attend LSU; he works in the athletic department's sports information. With Steve, Chris, Brad and Nick all involved in the student body and athletic department, Cynthia became a sports supporter in her own right when she joined the Bengal Belles and became a member of the board of directors. When the Kragthorpe family first arrived in Baton Rouge three years ago, Steve was named offensive coordinator for the team, having been tapped by LSU head coach Les Miles for the position after Miles saw the 46-year-old's success as head coach at the University of Tulsa. A few months later, Steve was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and has now signed a three-year contract in his new position. "We are thrilled that we will be staying here," said Cynthia, who learned five years ago that she had multiple sclerosis, a disease that is difficult to diagnose and often can go untreated for many years before it is discovered. In addition to her responsibilities as a "tiger" wife and mother, Cynthia is a volunteer member of the speaker's bureau for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She and Steve are also involved in the Michael J. Fox Foundation, as well as the Fellowship for Christian Athletes, for which Cynthia hosts a Bible study group for the wives of LSU coaches each month. "Our faith sustains my family, and we are blessed with the life and opportunity that has been given us here at Louisiana State University," said Cynthia. Sitting in her lovely home that overlooks a quiet lake near LSU, Cynthia smiled and said that she real- ized that everyone has challenges in their lives and that she and Steve are no different than anyone else, grateful for the lives they have been given. Maintaining busy schedules, they do not have time to dwell on illness or self-pity, she stressed. The LSU fever permeates the Kragthorpe's household during football season, when relatives and friends descend on Baton Rouge for the excitement. Steve's parents, Dave and Barbara Kragthorpe, are frequent guests and join in the fervor that only LSU fans display for their beloved team. But there's more to enjoy in Baton Rouge, as well. "I love to take visitors to all the interesting and unusual sites that makes Louisiana unique—the fabulous LSU campus, the romantic antebellum plantation homes, and of course, the swamp tours," said Cynthia. Married for 26 years, Cynthia and Steve Kragthorpe were college sweethearts at a small college in Tulsa, Texas where they were both students. Steve's roots were in Idaho and Utah, and Cynthia hailed from a small town in Texas. "Life in the South has proved to be without problems of adapting. My husband and my sons are absolutely crazy about boiled crawfish; I'm not quite there yet," said the former teacher. Looking forward to the new football season, Cynthia and Steve are enjoying their lives surrounded by a city that has extended its friendship and support, as well as by the welcoming arms of the LSU coaching family. "

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