University of Louisville

Louisville football assistant placed on leave after drunken driving arrest

Louisville tight ends coach Chris Klenakis has been placed on leave following his arrest Sunday on charges of drunken driving and wanton endangerment.
Louisville tight ends coach Chris Klenakis has been placed on leave following his arrest Sunday on charges of drunken driving and wanton endangerment. AP

A Louisville assistant football coach was arrested early Sunday morning on drunken driving, wanton endangerment and other charges after complaints of a vehicle driving recklessly through an active construction zone. He has been placed on leave by the program.

Christopher Klenakis, 54, the Cardinals’ tight ends coach, was pulled over on I-64 West near Shelbyville at 12:58 a.m. Sunday after multiple reports of a vehicle “swerving in and out of his lane and almost striking the barrier wall multiple times,” according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s office arrest citation.

“The subject drove through a (sic) active contruction zone where many employees of Louisville paving were actively working on the roadway,” the report said. “When the above subject passed through he almost struck the very wall the workers were working on.”

The citation stated that Klenakis’ breath test showed a blood alcohol level of .165, more than twice the legal limit. Deputies reported multiple empty beer cans in his Toyota Highlander.

The report stated Klenakis had to be pulled from the SUV because he would not exit on his own and that he nearly walked into interstate traffic when officers tried to conduct a field sobriety test. Deputies subsequently decided against the field test. Klenakis consented to the breath test at the jail, the report said.

Klenakis faces charges of reckless driving, wanton endangerment, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and possession of an open alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle. He is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday, according to a report by WDRB.com.

Klenakis has been on Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino’s staff as tight ends coach since 2014 after coaching stints at Iowa State, Arkansas and other stops. He was placed on leave by Petrino on Monday.

“Coach Klenakis approached me this morning and informed me of the situation that occurred over the weekend,” Petrino said in a statement provided to the Courier Journal. “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.”

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