The Front Paige: Culture Shock

The views and words of Paige Sherrard do not necessarily reflect those of CSZ. Especially if you hate them. 

Coach Satterfield got his first win at Louisville against Eastern Kentucky University. The first shutout since 2013. Louisville’s first win in 358 days.

The team celebrated like they just beat Clemson.

I know what some of you are thinking… “It’s just EKU, we SHOULD shut them out.”

You’re right, we should.

But, you can’t tell me that we would’ve won by 42 points last season. In all honesty, I don’t think we could’ve beat St. X by 42 points last season. And that’s not a dig at the team. It’s a dig at the leadership… Or lack there of.

To say the young men on our team were screwed out of a year of eligibility would be an understatement. The guys should be angry and hurt. Their coach stopped coaching. He jumped ship like a coward.

When the young men were looking for leadership and guidance, he gave them nothing. The players didn’t even know where the guy’s office was located. Hell, I’m angry for them.

When Bobby stopped winning, he became insufferable and hard to stomach. The guy basically stole $14 million for the university and chucked the deuces.

But, enough about him. This piece isn’t about last season. It’s about now.

I’ll be the first to admit, I was skeptical when Coach Scott Satterfield was announced as Louisville’s next head football coach. I blame that on the Krag years… I have a hard time trusting any new coach.

I’m glad I was proven wrong. From the second that man stepped foot in Louisville, I was impressed.

Videos of the team playing paintball, playing baseball surfaced. Videos of the team working together as an actual cohesive team. Videos of the guys laughing and cutting up with the coaching staff. I had forgotten what that type of camaraderie looked like. It was something we haven’t seen in a while.

Then I heard Coach Satterfield speak. He spoke words of wisdom, words of strength and resilience into these young men. He didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, he told them what they needed to hear. He spoke confidence into the young men on the team. And just like that, the culture began to shift.

All spring and summer we read quotes from players about the differences with the new coaching staff. Each revelation was jaw dropping. Simple things like knowing where Coach Satterfield’s Office was located, or if the guy next to them on O-Line had siblings. Things that make a team, a team. A band of brothers, if you will.

It was hard to imagine a team so disconnected, but thinking back to last season, it all made sense.

Fast forward to the first game of the season against Notre Dame. In the first half, I saw a team that I haven’t seen in a long time. The fight was there. The grit was there. I saw a cohesive team on the field. A sideline of players hyping up the crowd and cheering after big plays. I saw coaches interacting with players. Cheering them on, while teaching them what else could’ve been done.

Again, I was left with my jaw on the ground. But, this time in awe.

The first win of Coach Satterfield’s tenure may have come in a shut out of EKU. The team didn’t care. They were so happy to get a win.

Seeing videos of the team and coaches celebrating in the locker room makes my heart so happy. This team deserves everything and more.

The Louisville Football program may not be at the big boys table right now. It may not be there for the next year or two. But, the team is working its way up. Table by table. Inch by inch.

When the program gets there, we will all sit back and reminisce about how it all started with a culture change.

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