Louisville assistant Chris Klenakis arrested on DUI charges

Chris Klenakis has been an assistant coach at Louisville since 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Louisville has placed assistant coach Chris Klenakis on administrative leave after his arrest for drunk driving over the weekend.

Klenakis, the Cardinals’ tight ends coach, is facing an array of charges stemming from an early Sunday morning incident. Bobby Petrino, UL’s head coach, said Klenakis came forward about what happened on Monday morning.

“Coach Klenakis approached me this morning and informed me of the situation that occurred over the weekend,” Petrino said in a statement. “I informed our administration and Coach Klenakis was placed on an administrative leave of absence effective immediately. There are high standards in our program for our coaching staff and we must adhere to those standards on a daily basis.”

The details police provided about Klenakis’ arrest are not pretty.

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Klenakis is facing four charges, including a first-degree felony

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Klenakis, 54, was charged with four crimes. Three are traffic violations: reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and possession of an open container. The fourth is a felony charge: first-degree wanton endangerment.

In Kentucky, a person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when “under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.”

Shelby County (Ky.) police said Klenakis, who had a blood-alcohol level of .165, drove his car through an active construction zone, was found with multiple open containers of alcohol and had to be physically removed from his vehicle.

From the Courier-Journal:

The report said Klenakis was swerving while driving down Interstate 64 and nearly hit a construction wall “multiple times” while construction workers were present. Deputies from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department arrived after multiple people called 911 to report a reckless driver.

Police said Klenakis refused an order to get out of his car and had to be forcefully pulled out by an officer. There were empty beer cans crushed in the passenger seat of his car as well as multiple open containers of alcohol. Police attempted to conduct a field sobriety test but Klenakis walked out into oncoming traffic and was nearly hit by a truck, the report said. Klenakis’ blood alcohol level was measured at .165 after consenting to a breath test.

From there, Klenakis posted $5,000 bail and was released from custody later Sunday. He has an arraignment scheduled for Sept. 25, four days before Louisville’s Week 4 home game against Florida State.

Klenakis has been at Louisville since 2014

Klenakis served as Louisville’s offensive line coach for four seasons before moving over to tight ends coach before the 2017 season. He previously was hired by Petrino at Arkansas and has had stints as an assistant at Nevada, Iowa State and Southern Miss.

Louisville opens its season against No. 1 Alabama on Sept. 1 in Orlando.

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