If you read the title of this post, you may think it isn’t a big deal, just another award for Rick Pitino. Then when I say that the runner-up was Tom Jurich and in third place was Teddy Bridgewater, you may think that this was a poll done on Louisville’s campus. This is actually the Lexington Hearald-Leader Kentucky Sportsman of the Year, and it is voted on by media members in Kentucky. So yes, in a Lexington-based newspaper, the top 3 vote-getters were Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich, and Teddy Bridgewater. Not too bad. Other interesting finishers in the top 10: Charlie Strong and 9th and Russ Smith at 10th.
Top 10 in voting
1. Rick Pitino
2. Tom Jurich
3. Teddy Bridgewater
4. Dominique Hawkins
5. Kenny Perry
6. Makayla Epps
7. Antonio Andrews
8. A’dia Mathies
9. Charlie Strong
10. Russ Smith
Pitino becomes the first person to win this award three times. He also won it in 1990 and 1996. In 2013, Pitino led the Cardinals to a National Championship, was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, had a horse (Goldencents) run in the Kentucky Derby, got a tattoo, caught a marlin, and drank a lot of coconut water.
Your move 2014.
Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com
On Thursday evening it was announced that Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt would be leaving UofL to be an assistant coach with the Chicago Bears. We wish him nothing but the best in the future. Hurtt posted the following message on his facebook page:
“It’s never easy saying bye to people or places that you love. Not in a million years did I think I would ever leave the University of Miami but I also knew that if I was going to grow professionally I had to leave the nest seeing that the U was all that I knew. With the exception of Greg Schiano and Bill Young I had been in the same defense practically for 10 of my 13 years with them as player/ga/coach.
Louisville was the perfect situation, the challenge of rebuilding a program, a sleeping giant to the college football world, a rising head coach that I knew I could learn so much from and a fan base second to none in college football.
These past 4 years have been memories I’ll never forget and relationships that will never be broken. Tom Jurich is as good as gold some may feel me leaving for this opportunity is not right but he totally understood why I wanted this. No different then the reason I came here-to grow in this profession. He respected it and understood I told him this wasn’t a ploy to “hide out” and go to Texas. Lol people really don’t know me if they think I’m a follower. I follow one person and that’s God.
I love Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford but I stated to Charlie long before this is what I wanted to do, coach in the NFL. Toughest part was telling the DL today and I’ll see the rest of the boys tomorrow.
Card Nation I want to thank you for all your support and how gracious you’ve been to my family and I since we’ve been here. We will still be rooting to no end for OUR CARDINALS this season and every season to come after. Good luck to Coach Petrino and his staff can’t wait to see them beat the hell out of every dam body!! #L1C4 #Cardinaldiehardfan!”
Are you serious, Tom Jurich?
I imagine his response goes somewhat along the lines of…. “As a motorcycle wreck, Daryl”.
Of course I was reluctant to the idea of bringing back a former coach of ours. I thought it was just a far fetched joking desire from a broken-hearted Cardnation. I figured we were ready to keep progressing forward with the train that Charlie Strong abruptly jumped off of. And yes, as @the_redbird7 termed it, I’m still ‘smad’ at Charlie for bailing. For the second time in the past year I feel like the girl that got dumped. Once, yes I actually got dumped by my boyfriend of four years and the second time by my football coach of four years. Almost immediately we saw Coach flaunt his new ‘Texas girlfriend’ on the internet. Didn’t you ever watch Spongebob, Charlie?!
Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com
By Lloyd Spence:
As Head Coach Charlie Strong walked out the door last weekend to The University of Texas, the search for the next coach began in one of the strangest possible places.
University of Louisville Athletic Director aka “The Card-Father”, Tom Jurich, decided to start his search (despite major personal reservations) in Bowling Green, KY with the man that lead the Football program to places it had only reached under Hall of Fame Coach Howard Schnellenberger. As that search evolved, Bobby Petrino, who led the Cardinals from 2003 to 2007 and was the current Head Coach of Western Kentucky University, quickly became the “target coach” to lead the program into its new conference home, The ACC.
I have been trying to write this post in my head for a few days now, because even before it was official, it looked pretty good that Bobby Petrino was going to be named our next head coach. I am glad that I waited until today to write it because I was able to attend the official press conference and hear Petrino and Tom Jurich speak in person. That just sealed the deal on what I already knew: that I love the hire of Bobby Petrino as our next coach for the University of Louisville football team.
Yep we did trust in Jurich and boy did Mr. Jurich deliver. Today Bobby Petrino was “officially ” announced as our new Head Coach. Justin and Steve went to cover the presser and I ventured over to the Fan get-together. May have been close to 1000 people there by the time Bobby came out. Of course your Master Of Events was Sean Moth….and here is what coach had to say.
That dude would not stay out of my way….lol.
Also a few pics from the get together
In what will surely be a controversial hire, Tom Jurich has elected to bring back Bobby Petrino as the head coach for the Louisville Cardinals. Things are being finalized now. After interviewing 7 or 8 candidates (according to many), the former Louisville head coach was the choice. Pat Forde as well as Joe Schad at ESPN have confirmed this.
Petrino spent last season as the head coach for Western Kentucky, leading them to an 8-4 record. In his 4 years as the head coach at Louisville (2003-2006), Petrino went 41-9 including the school’s first BCS bowl victory when the Cards beat Wake Forest 24-13 in the Orange Bowl.
It is unknown at this time who Petrino will have as his staff at Louisville. You have to hope that he keeps Clint Hurtt on staff for the recruiting pipeline to Florida (when Hurtt can recruit again of course). There is also talk of him bringing Gene Chizik and/or Randy Shannon with him.
As I did with the Charlie Strong case, I will have a more opinionated post about this hire later on. But just had to get the word out as soon as possible.
This week on 55………….
Time to take a deep breath in and out. This week on 55 I had planned to do a Teddy’s top play version of 55 seeing that he declared and we thought for sure that he was the only guy we would have to mourn this week. Clearly we were wrong. It’s OK though, don’t fret, I have decided to dedicate half to Teddy and half to all the people we have said “He Gone” to this week. When I first started saying “He Gone” it was as a harmless little joke. It has since taken a bigger spotlight in the past 10 days and I will pay homage to that. So once again I share with you the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week.
1) Teddy Bridgewater declared for the NFL draft on Jan 1st. Teddy is projected to be the #1 pick in the NFL Draft and will be sorely missed
2) We thought we will be ok without Teddy, Coach and Will can get us through this rough time
5) Calvin Pryor declared for the NFL Draft last Monday. He is one of the hardest hitting guys I have ever seen here. He is projected to go late first, early second round in some publications. Congrats CP3
8) Damian Copeland bypassed his 6th year of eligibility to go pro on Jan 2. I do not see any projections with him in it, but he is a consummate pro talent-wise and I do expect him to be playing on Sundays.
11) Let’s go to basketball for our He Gone-a-thon for a moment. Chane Behanan was booted off the team for conduct detrimental to the team and is currently in Houston getting help and rehab from renowned basketball figure John Lucas. Chane, we at CardinalSportsZone.com as well as all of CardNation wish you the very best.
LLoyd Spence, the host of Talkin Noiz on 1080 AM radio, just revealed an updated list of the top candidates for the head coaching position for the University of Louisville football team. He says he did his homework and these are the guys. And trust me, this “homework” is legit. In no particular order, here is the list as of right now, and of course, things can change:
We have heard many names thrown around about who could be the next football Coach at the University of Louisville. But in my eyes there is only one and that’s Bobby Petrino. Sure James Franklin of Vandy or some of the others intrigue me and would be good hires but only one would bring us back to a level we have only tasted once and that was when he was here the last time. So here’s the 5 reasons why I want Bobby Petrino.
We asked the question last night and you responded. Who do you want to see as the next UofL coach?
If you are on twitter a lot during your day, you have probably been keeping up with everything going on with Charlie Strong and the Texas job opening. So you will probably know all of this. However we know that a lot of readers either are not on social media or just do not keep up as much as some, so this is mainly for them.
While UofL has not come out and released an official statement (because there hasn’t been reason to), all of these things have been reported by multiple media outlets. So we believe them to be true. There are always crazy rumors when it comes to this stuff, so we will leave those out and just let you know what has been (likely) happening.
As many of you know by now, a decision has been made by A.D. Tom Jurich in regards to the situation regarding Recruiter and D-Line Coach Clint Hurtt. That decision was to retain his services. I for one am happy that we get to keep this man on staff at Louisville. The things he does for these young kids on and off the field are amazing. Each of the players I talked to have mentioned he is like a father to them. I do understand that some of you may not agree with me however I am entitled to my opinion. I firmly believe if there was even one thing that the AD seen that made him think that Mr Hurtt was bad for business here that he would have terminated him today. If you trust in Tom Jurich to do the right thing by now then I don’t know that you ever will. He has done too much to build up our sports program to have anything tear it down. Here is the official statement released around 1:55 pm to the media:
For the past few weeks we have heard rumblings that Texas would throw the check book at Louisville AD Tom Jurich to take the same position at the University of Texas. Well according to Yahoo ‘s Pat Forde Tom Jurich will stay right here in Louisville. Late last night Forde released an article that stated from a source ”He wants to stay with [Louisville president] Jim Ramsey,”. We all know what Jurich means to this University and this is just another sign of his total Loyalty to the city of Louisville. It sounds like Jurich has built his Empire here in the Ville and it looks like he’s not ready to leave anytime soon.
Check out this article that was printed in the New York Times about the Louisville Cardinals the the rise of the athletic department.
At Louisville, Athletic Boom Is Rooted in ESPN Partnership
By Justin Renck:
On Wednesday afternoon, Charlie Strong’s new contract was approved, and the head coach got a nice little raise! The University of Louisville Athletic Association (ULAA) approved a contract that will pay Strong $3.7 million per year (before incentives), making him the 7th highest paid head coach in the country behind Nick Saban (Alabama), Mack Brown (Texas), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Les Miles (LSU), and Kirk Ferentz (Iowa).
By: Steven Rummage
This is the second time Tom Jurich has been praised in Congress, Jurich for President??
These are the ACC’s bowl affiliations for this season. Just giving you an idea of what bowls we can go to if these stay the same.
BCS (ACC tie-in)
$3,967,500 ACC; $2,932,500 SEC
|Big East #2
El Paso, TX
|Big East #3
Army or CUSA
|Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
San Francisco, CA
*In the event that the ACC has nine bowl-eligible teams, the Conference has made a conditional arrangement to send its eighth selection after the BCS to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, if either of that Bowl’s primary partners are not bowl eligible.
By Justin Renck:
FINALLY!!! It is a celebration and also a sigh of relief! The sigh of relief is because of what we are getting out of, and the celebration is because of what we are getting into!
Now I am not going to get into too many facts like TV ratings, conference votes, and all of that stuff. Just going to give my opinion on the situation.