Tag Archives: football

Photo curtosy of  isportsweb.com

University of Louisville, Adidas strike new deal

By Annie Moore

University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich together with Adidas executives announced on Thursday the University’s new contract with Adidas. The new deal extends the partnership between the two for another four years, through 2018-19.

The Portland, Or. based company will supply uniforms, footwear, and accessories for all 23 of Louisville’s athletic programs.

“It’s a very exciting day for us in the athletic department,” Jurich said. “The number one objective I had going into this, was how do we insure that our student-athletes have the premiere uniforms and apparel as we move forward, and this contract accomplishes all off those things.”

In addition to athletic outfitting, Adidas will provide ‘extensive investments in the the Cardinals’ athletic programs including advertising campaigns, equipment room expansion, digital/video technology, support for national champion spirit squads, a formalized sport administration internship program… and co-branding opportunities… including TaylorMade equipment within the UofL Golf Club.’ according to the press release issued from the athletic department on Thursday.

Louisville football head coach, Bobby Petrino was on hand as well, and excited about the new deal.

“This is a great thing for our players, to be able to have the top of the line uniforms, the materials that we’ll use, to keep them dryer, lighter, faster, and then the apparel,” Petrino said. “One of the things I’ve always felt is important is for your players to look good, feel good, you have a chance then to go out and play well.”

Petrino was reluctant to comment on whether the Cards would be unveiling on of its new five uniforms in the opening game against Miami on September 1, but instead said that it would be very fun to see what happens with the apparel down the road.

“I think you’re going to see  things on the cutting edge,” Petrino said. “New things that will be exciting for everybody, the players, the recruits and the fans. We’re going to be on the edge of the fence as far as the top of the line with the way you get to look, the way you get to dress and the attitude you play with.”

The deal will also benefit fans, with additions such as new spirit shirts for student season ticket holders and ACC inaugural year fan giveaways.

“It’s going to be fun now, get ready because it’s going to be fun,” Petrino said. “I can’t wait, to be honest with you.”

 

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Will Gardner steps up to the spotlight

By Sam Draut

Waiting in the wings for the past two seasons behind Teddy Bridgewater, redshirt sophomore Will Gardner is now at the center of attention.

Replacing one of the programs greatest quarterbacks will be no easy task, but Gardner directed the offense well on his first big stage without the shadow of Bridgewater.

Gardner looked sharp and in control, completing 32-37 passes for 542 yards and four touchdowns in the Spring Game on Friday night.

“It was good to see Will in command of the offense, I liked the way he carried himself, I like the way he took charge in the huddle,” coach Bobby Petrino said. “He looked comfortable in delivering the football and for the most part, he was very accurate with his throws.”

On the third play of the game, Gardner connected with sophomore wide receiver James Quick for a 62 yard touchdown pass down the sideline.

“That was exciting, we said in the huddle we wanted to set the tone early,” Gardner said.

Quick, who believes Gardner throws a harder ball than Bridgewater, reeled in a team high 152 receiving yards.

“He played a great game, he played a well-rounded game,” Quick said.

Quick wasn’t the only receiver Gardner targeted, seniors DeVante Parker, Gerald Christian, and Eli Rogers all had over 100 receiving yards.

“We have a lot of playmakers, it’s hard to get the ball to everyone because we have so many, and it makes the quarterback’s job easier,” Gardner said.

“We have a very good wide receivers corps. DeVante Parker is a very special player, and there’s a good deal of speed and talent around him,” Petrino said. “That’s really going to help our quarterback. He just has to know that the defense and reads are going to dictate who is open, and then he just has to get the ball to that guy and let him make a play.”

With receptions from seven different players, Petrino was most impressed with the way Gardner distributed the ball and went through his progressions.

But, even with his stellar performance, Gardner was hesitant to give himself praise, remaining humble after a dominating audition as the predecessor of Bridgewater.

“We had good pass protection and guys were getting wide open.  When guys are getting wide open, you can’t miss them,” Gardner said. “I put the ball where I can and they make plays.”

Despite delivering the ball well to receivers throughout the night, Gardner did have one mistake, overthrowing a crossing route that was intercepted by Chucky Williams midway through the second quarter.

Gardner was able to learn from his few mistakes and adjust throughout the game.

“He missed one early in the second half, he kind of forced the ball and threw it out of bounds, over DeVante’s head, and we had a guy open down the middle, but he came back in the second half and hit him twice,” Petrino said. “So, he learned as the game went on, and that is going to be important because he is going to have to learn as the game goes on and not make the same mistake twice.”

After an impressive performance to wrap up spring practice, Gardner’s individual improvement becomes critical as players split from the coaches until summer camp.

“I have to grow into the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room, get bigger and stronger,” Gardner said.

So now, a quarterback that has appeared in just six games and completed 8 of 12 passes for 112 yards in his collegiate career takes over a lethal offensive scheme and a program headed into its first year in the ACC.

“Will Gardner is getting better. He’s getting his timing down and putting the ball where it needs to be more frequently, but we still have to get better there. He’s a very hard worker, he’s got a great attitude and he’s a natural leader, we just have to get him in the situations that he’s going to see in a game so that it’s not a shock for him,” Petrino said.

And as for being a quarterback without the shadow of Teddy Bridgewater looming in the starting spot, Gardner is ready for his time.

“It’s different, but I enjoy it, I have a great group of support around me, great teammates and they all support me,” Gardner said.

 

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Annual Red v. White scrimmage held

By Annie Moore

The University of Louisville held its annual Red and White Scrimmage April 11 to showcase the team’s preparation in the spring. The offense, headlined by quarterback Will Gardner, and the defense led by veterans like junior linebacker James Burgess were on display, as were new head coach Bobby Petrino’s new system.

Coach Petrino was happy with what he saw from the team, and admitted there is much room for improvement before the season.

“We have a long way to go, but our coaches have done a great job at teaching our new schemes, and the players have worked really hard at learning them,” Petrino said.  “We’ve had some great competition in practice. The practices have been really physical and guys are really competing. I feel really good about our front seven on defense. Our linebackers are physical and fast and are going to be able to play the way we want them to play. We are a little bit concerned with our depth in the secondary and the inexperience at safety. That’s an area where we have to continue to work hard and get better.”

The Red Team, led by Gardner, routed the White Team, 56-13. Gardner was 32- of 37 for 542 yards and four touchdowns.

“We had good pass protection and guys getting wide open, and when guys are wide open, you can’t miss them. We had a lot of guys open when we called plays for them, so that was a good thing,” Gardner said.

Gardner too admitted that there was much work to be done in the time between now and kickoff in September.

“I’ve got to grind in the playbook, become more confident, hit the weight room hard and just get bigger and stronger.” Gardner said.

 Michael Dyer rushed for 99 yards on 10 carries for the Red, and added 51 yards and a 27-yard touchdown on four carries for the White.

The biggest search now will be for a player to step out as the leader for a team heading into its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“You always worry about leadership, but this team has a terrific work ethic,” Petrino said.  “They grind in the weight room and really get after it at practice. They understand that everything is different, but have been very willing to adapt. We have good leadership and guys who know what it takes to win games, and that has made the transition a lot easier.”

But with regards to the head coach’s overall feeling heading out of the game, he’s confident in his QB and ready to improve in other spots around the ball.

“You couldn’t leave a spring game happier with the way [Gardner] played,” Petrino said. “I was happy with our spring. I think we’re headed in the right direction, but we do have a long, long way to go.”

 

Photo courtesy of 247sports.com

Petrino rounds up recruiting class despite late hire

By Sam Draut

As the dust settled on National Signing Day, Louisville collected 20 letters of intent which ranked in the mid-40s nationally by recruiting sites like Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and 247Sports.

It is a relatively flavorless recruiting class in Bobby Petrino’s return, but in a limited period of time, he was able to address the necessary components.

Petrino was hired on January 9, and as he accumulated his staff, they only had three weeks to salvage the 2014 recruiting class.

“We’re excited about this class. I can’t say enough about the hard work that our assistants put in to make this happen in such a small time frame,” Petrino said. “We had a very short period of time to work with, but we were able to go out and create some relationships.”

Louisville held onto local Trinity product Reggie Bonnafon.  The quarterback committed in early January 2013, and remained true to his commitment after the coaching change.

“Teams really came after Reggie Bonnafon. He actually had another visit set up, but he stayed strong,” Petrino said. “It was huge to get him here.”

The only in state recruit this year, Bonnafon was ranked as the 22nd best quarterback nationally by Scout.

“We’re telling Reggie Bonnafon that we want him to compete for the starting job right away,” Petrino said.

Jake Smith, John Miller and Jamon Brown head into their senior season, three offensive linemen who have started the past three seasons.

This leaves a huge whole in offensive line in 2015, but Louisville was able to bring in four offensive linemen to eventually fill the positions.

Kelby Johnson is a junior college transfer and could potentially compete for the starting tackle position this year.  After Johnson, Louisville brought in three high school linemen who would presumably redshirt next season.  Lukayus McNeil and Danny Burns were ranked by Rivals nationally as top 40 offensive linemen.

“Kelby Johnson was a guy we really wanted because of his experience. He’s played in this conference,” Petrino said. “He’ll compete right out of the gate for a starting job once spring ball starts.”

Defensively, Louisville received a surprising commitment from Sharieff Rhaheed, an outside linebacker from Fort Pierce, Florida.  Rhaheed should fit well as Louisville transitions to a 3-4 defense under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.  Rhaheed was ranked nationally as the 24th best outside linebacker and also received offers from Alabama, USC, and Michigan State among others.

As Louisville moves to the ACC, they will continue to recruit against the other 13 teams in the conference.

The Cardinals recruiting class ranked eighth in the ACC according to Scout. Louisville will play in the Atlantic Division, where their recruiting class finished fourth in the seven team division behind Florida State, N.C. State, and Clemson.

In his first stint at Louisville, Petrino was able to find hidden gems while on the recruiting trail such as former two star prospect turned Louisville stars and future NFL draft picks like Harry Douglas, Amobi Okoye, Breno Giacomini and Gary Barnidge.

“You have to trust your own evaluation and go through the process. It’s easier said than done to trust yourself and not worry about the stars,” Petrino said.

As important as finding diamonds in the rough is, bringing in high profile players as the program grows is critical.

While at Louisville from 2003-06, Petrino’s recruiting classes ranked 48th nationally in 2003, 54th nationally in 2004, 43rd nationally in 2005 and 26th nationally in 2006.

The Louisville staff inherits a program built on solid recruiting classes over the past few years, which allows the staff to choose to redshirt some of the 18 high school athletes instead of playing them out of necessity because of depth.

With the staff put together and the move to the ACC nearly complete, Louisville’s recruiting classes should continue to improve as Petrino continues to reconnect with the fertile recruiting grounds in the Southeast.

“I like to recruit the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia because I learned when I was down there with the Jaguars just how much the young guys down there are engrossed in football. I like to recruit players who grew up like that,” Petrino said.

“My philosophy is that from today on, we’re getting these guys prepared to play next fall,” Petrino said. “They need to have that mentality as they go into the weight room.”

Photo by Austin Lassell

This is Louisville

By Noah Allison

As sudden as life is here comes the month of February. First semester started long ago, Teddy throwing touchdowns is but a blissful memory, and here is our men’s basketball team heading into the month of February with us.

With one month of regular season play left the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals have an 18-4 record. There is a great support for these heroes of Cardinal lore, but there is also a genuine level of expectation that is not being met.

The Cardinals entered the year ranked number three overall, with returning seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock back to defend the title, and a cast of experienced members of the championship team returning with them. But there were questions about the schedule; at first glance the college basketball culturally familiar opponents were limited to a few.

North Carolina, Kentucky, Memphis, UConn and Cincinnati were the teams that U of L had history with. In the meantime the rest of the schedule were games Card Nation expects to win, and must win until getting to face a true test of a team.

And it goes without saying now, that almost all of those possible statement games the Cardinals played, they lost. Which is starting to make a statement itself.

Yet, one can’t get carried away.

Entering the month of February one year ago the Cardinals record stood at 17-4. They had just ended a three game losing streak in the Big East, and they had some things to figure out.

This current team has overcome and had to face its fair share adversity in the form of injuries, growing pains and the dismissal of junior power forward Chane Behanan.

In the loss to North Carolina, they were missing lay-ups all game, if they fall like they normally would, the Cardinals may win.

Against UK they fought shot for shot with Kentucky and took the lead with roughly seven minutes left. From that point forward leading scorer Russ Smith didn’t score. If Smith had continued his Russdiculous rhythm then maybe the Cards win.

Against Memphis the Cards were a few rebounds and a little maturity away from winning.

Against Cincinnati the Cards came from 17 down to take the lead, and again failed to rebound at crucial times and broke down due to lack of maturity.

All of these things could have changed the outcomes and any or all of those losses could be wins.

The Cardinals, for all the problems they face as a team could have figured out how to win those games. And if they had how worried would Card Nation be right now? The Cardinals still have a home game against UConn and tough road games against SMU, Memphis and Cincinnati and the AAC Tournament to figure out who they are as a team.

The Cards of last year continued to adjust to growing pains throughout February and that is when they figured it out, because they had to. The potential is there with this team; there have been too many segments of brilliance throughout the season to legitimately count them out of anything.

The only thing to do now is appreciate 17-4, and the fact that there are players like Luke, Russ and Montrezl Harrell, and a coach like Rick Pitino to put the winning formula together.

It is college basketball and this is Louisville. This is when things get interesting

Photo courtesy of thecrunchzone.com

Petrino completes coaching staff

By Sam Draut

On Friday morning, Bobby Petrino announced the final additions to complete his coaching staff for the University of Louisville football team.

Garrick McGee was brought in as the Assistant Head coach and Offensive Coordinator.  McGee worked for Petrino for four seasons at Arkansas (2008-11) as the program’s Offensive Coordinator and quarterback’s coach.  In his two seasons as offensive coordinator at Arkansas, the Razorbacks went 10-3 and 11-2, scoring 30 or more points in 19 of 36 games.

A former quarterback, McGee worked extensively with Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet, who had back to back seasons passing for over 3,500 yards and 30 touchdowns.

“We have the same thoughts and beliefs on how we want to run the offense.  So I have complete trust on what he does,” Petrino said.

McGee spent two seasons as the head coach at UAB, leaving for Louisville after a 5-19 record.

“I know the role of an assistant. I think I’m in a great position to be one of the best assistant coaches in the game, because of my experience as a head coach,” McGee said.

In 2011, McGee was one of the five finalist for the 2011 Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Chris Klenakis was announced as the Offense Line Coach and Running Game Coordinator.  Last season, Klenakis coached at Iowa State, before previously spending three seasons at Arkansas.  He worked with Bobby Petrino from 2010-11.

“Chris is an expert on teaching technique and the innovator of the Pistol offense. He is a tireless worker and a great recruiter,” Petrino said.

Former Louisville running back Kolby Smith was hired as the Running Backs Coach.

“Basically, at the running back position, you have to be smart, tough, and dependable.  So that is what I’m look for out of the backs,” Smith said.

Smith played for Petrino from 2003-06, experiencing an Orange Bowl victory and two conference championships while rushing for over 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Smith connected with Petrino last season at WKU and was on staff as the running backs coach.

Lamar Thomas was brought in as the Wide Receivers Coach, after spending one season with Petrino at WKU.

Thomas played eight seasons in the NFL from 1993-2000 after finishing a prolific career at Miami (Fla.).  Thomas won two national championships and holds the school record for most career receptions.

Todd Grantham was lured away from Georgia and hired as the Defensive Coordinator.   He was given a five-year guaranteed contract worth $1 million per year.

“To be a part of Coach Petrino’s staff and what they do offensively, it was an opportunity I felt like I couldn’t pass up,” Grantham said.

Grantham spent four seasons at Georgia and in 2012 helped to lead the Bulldogs to a 12-2 record ending in a victory in the Capital One Bowl.  The defense held five opponents to ten points or fewer and finished the year ranked 18th nationally in scoring defense.

Grantham is a proponent of the 3-4 defense, which will be transition for the players who ran the 4-3 defense with former Defensive Coordinator Vance Bedford.

Grantham will also coach inside linebackers and special teams.

Clint Hurtt is the lone hold over from Charlie Strong’s staff and will continue to work as the Defensive Line Coach.

Known as one of the top recruiters in the country, Hurtt has been on staff at Louisville since 2010.  Hurtt helped guide the Cardinals to be one of the top pass rushing defense in the country, finishing first nationally in sacks.

L.D. Scott was hired as the Outside Linebackers Coach.  Scott played defensive end at U of L from 2006-09 and finished with 20 tackles or more in his final three seasons.

Scott stayed connected with Petrino as a student assistant for two years at Arkansas and then worked as WKU’s defensive ends coach for two years.

“We are excited to get our hands in and get to work,” Scott said.

Terrell Buckley was brought in as the Cornerbacks Coach, he previously spent two seasons at the same position at Akron.

Buckley played fourteen years in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl and hauling in 50 interceptions.

With the staff complete, the coaches will work feverously on recruiting leading up to National Signing Day on Wednesday February 5.  And then, to Spring practices which could give a glimpse into the 2014 season.

“When he called, I asked if there was a chance to win a national championship, and if there is, I am interested, and he said ‘yes, this is the one’,” McGee said.

 

Photo by Michelle Lewis

Welcome back Bobby

By Michelle Lewis

When Charlie Strong said “I’m not cut that way” both Louisville football players and fans believed him. People felt like, finally; finally we have a coach who wants to be here, who wants to build his legacy, a coach who means it when he says he’s not going anywhere. Maybe he meant it at the time but even if he did, he still left. Not only did he leave the school and the fans, he left his players without even telling them he was leaving.

It wasn’t the first time a coach has left U of L; it wasn’t even the worst, most painful way Louisville has been left by a coach. During the Cardinals’ bowl game in 2002 players learned from reporters that John L Smith was leaving for Michigan State. No, you didn’t read that wrong, they found out during half time of the bowl game. Then, his exit got worse,  uglier and more painful. During an interview Smith answered a question about U of L and its fans by saying “The people here have no idea where they are on the food chain. Does that make sense? You better know where you are on the food chain and what sharks are doing. They think they’re at the top of the food chain, and they’re not.” Ouch, talk about stinging.

Bobby Petrino was introduced as Louisville’s new head coach at the same time Smith was cleaning out his desk down the hall. People know what happened next. Petrino led the school to a 41-9 record overall, a 20-game home win streak, and a 4-0 record against in-state rival UK. The Cardinals went to a bowl game every year under Petrino and won the 2006 Orange Bowl finishing the season ranked third in the country, U of L’s highest ever ranking.

After the 2006 season Petrino was hired to be the head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. For Louisville fans, this was devastating. Petrino had interviewed for other jobs but had signed a contract extension just before the season and while he had interviewed for other jobs before nobody expected his departure given the season the Cards had just wrapped up, the talent returning the next year, and the expectations that it was finally time to compete for a national championship. The NFL is a game changer though and when most are honest, few blame him for taking the job.

When Athletic Director Tom Jurich learned that Charlie Strong was leaving he wanted to move fast selecting a new coach. He didn’t have to look far. The new head coach was about 100 miles away and already had a daughter at U of L and a son who had led Trinity High School to a state football championship. He and his wife were already familiar with both Louisville and the university. Jurich knew the coach but needed to be convinced. After a nine-hour interview, both Jurich and Louisville fans were saying, “Welcome back, Bobby”.

Many fans were ecstatic, some less than enthused, but none doubt that Jurich’s chose a very talented coach who wins. Petrino could lose 50 games straight and still have a career winning record. Louisville fans have been burned in the past though and those who doubt this hire do so because of his previous departure. They feel that’s the reason not to hire him again. They fear having their hearts broken again. Most don’t admit that though, instead they cite his tenures with the Falcons (he quit after going 3-10) and then Arkansas where he was fired after having a motorcycle accident with his mistress on board then lying about it.

Yes, his actions in both instances were less than honorable but had nothing to do with his time at Louisville or why he is the right choice for Louisville now. To figure that out you can start by listening to what his former players say.

“Those of you bashing Bobby Petrino…. Explain to me what did he ever do to Louisville besides win games?” tweeted former Louisville football player Richard Raglan. Another alum, current Chicago Bear Michael Bush said “Now the question is how I feel about it. I’m all for it. People mess up in life. You live and learn. The bottom line is Bobby Petrino wins games.”

Nearly 100 former Cardinals voiced their support for Coach Petrino through tweets, interviews, phone calls  and emails. In addition, NFL wide receiver Roddy White said through multiple media that he’d send his son to play for Petrino given the chance and CBS Sports’ Greg Doyle wrote an article on why he thinks Petrino is the right choice and deserves the second chance and basketball analyst Dick Vitale voiced his support as well.

More important than what any of them think or even than what fans think, is how the players feel. Many were hurt and disappointed by Strong’s departure and especially by not having been told he was leaving. Many learned he was Texas bound from ESPN coverage and weren’t sure how they felt about Petrino. Then they talked to his former players, to people who were around when he was at Louisville before, and then to him and they were won over. The guys on offense were likely the easiest to win over once they had seen footage of his offense. Several current players loved seeing the comments he made about rival UK, which if you haven’t seen these, go directly to Google and YouTube and check these out for yourself, and just as many fell in love with the black uniforms they saw the Cards wearing in big games.

“Things are going to change……I’m good with that” tweeted defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin. He later added “As a senior for my squad, and the first player to speak to coach Petrino, I can speak for the team and say we’re about to have a hell of a year.”

If Jurich and the players are convinced he deserves the chance to be Louisville’s coach again and his family has forgiven his mistakes then fans should stand with them and say, again, welcome back, Bobby.

 

Photo courtesy of nj.com

Former football great Kerry Rhodes talks Louisville

By Sam Draut

A year removed from playing his final game in the NFL, former University of Louisville safety Kerry Rhodes stopped in Louisville this weekend to judge the Miss Kentucky USA Pageant, calling upon a far different skill set that the 2006 All Pro safety is known for.

Rhodes came to U of L in 2000 and was a part of five bowl trips capped off by a Liberty Bowl victory against tenth ranked Boise State.  He finished his career at Louisville with 167 tackles and 11 interceptions earning All-Conference USA honors his senior year.

Rhodes believes those years helped to lay the foundation for Louisville football.

“That is how we feel about it, we feel like we put the football program on the map.  We had so many good players on the team and a lot of them went onto greater success in the NFL and off the field success as well,” Rhodes said.  “We felt like we kick started the program again, when Petrino came in and won the Orange Bowl, it solidified the program, it was a big deal.”

After being away from the U of L football program for nine years, Rhodes was able to return for the 2013 Spring Game.  Over those nine years, the program had earned three Conference Championships, two BCS bowl victories, and Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expanded to 55,000.

“I think they are back on the right track right now.  For a couple years they fell off,” Rhodes said.  “Charlie Strong came in and gave a lot of energy to the program.  He brought back creditability and also winning back, which is a big thing.  It’s good to see the people behind the football team again.”

Now, Rhodes’s former coach Bobby Petrino takes over the program once again.

“It’s great that he is back to keep these things going.  I am a big fan of Petrino, there have been different opinions of him, but my time personally with him was good,” Rhodes said.  “He actually opened my eyes my junior year.  I came in and played well but didn’t play as well as I should have.  He was one of those coaches that would let you know, so I came back out my senior year and was All-Conference and played well, and eventually got drafted.”

Rhodes was drafted in the fourth round, 123 overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the New York Jets.

“I owe a lot of my success to him and I think he is the right guy for the job right now and especially with this transition he can do well,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes dealt with what a majority of U of L’s roster now faces, two different head coaches during their time within the program.  John L. Smith recruited Rhodes and coached him for his freshman and sophomore year, but then Smith left for Michigan State. Petrino was hired and coached Rhodes for his junior and senior year.

“You have to try to immerse yourself in the new system right away.  It’s going to be what he says goes anyways, you have to be one of those guys, especially if you want to be a leader, try to buy into his system early, be a guy who’s affirming and not stuck in your ways,” Rhodes said. “It’s important to be versatile, everything isn’t going to be perfect for you, but Petrino is a guy who is proven to win and do it right, and you want to be a part of it.”

Though Rhodes had a successful eight year career in the NFL playing for the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals, he said he had always planned and enjoyed life outside of football.

“Right now, I’m transitioning to my second life, I’m getting into the acting stuff, and I am actually starting my own production company.  We just got finished shooting a couple of projects, one on Antoine Walker, the former Kentucky basketball player.  We did a documentary on him and his life and his ups and downs,” Rhodes said.

Also, Rhodes has set up a foundation named The Kerry Rhodes Foundation, which supports young men and women achieve educational success and physical well-being.

For a majority of his life, Rhodes has been defined as a stand out athlete, now he transitions away from football, but a bright future looms ahead.

Will the football offensive staff stay the same?

By Ginny Washbish–

Only the strong will survive. Clearly that statement doesn’t apply to the current football offensive staff at the University of Louisville. Looks like you can have an impeccable resume and still be replaced.

Since last Tuesday, the offensive graduate assistants have known their jobs could be up for grabs when Coach Petrino announces his coaching staff. All of our offensive graduate assistants have had a strong run: a Sugar bowl victory; a Russell athletic bowl victory against an ACC opponent, Miami; and maintaining a record of 23-3 for the past two seasons.

On Thursday, it was rumored that staff changes were already occurring, with the possibility of Garrick McGee becoming offensive coordinator. When asking Rocco Gasparro, Athletic Assoc in VPA-Football, about the possible changes, Gasparro said, “Coach Petrino has not officially hired any staff members. There will be an announcement once he makes his decision.”

Kenny Klein, Assoc Ath Dir in VPA-Support Services, could not be reached for comment.

With only a five day notice of possible termination, it’s hard not for the graduate assistants to express anger and disappointment. And with gossip circulating that Petrino is likely not welcoming the current offensive staff to his own, positive results are hard to imagine.

Photo by Jessica Knebel

Louisville defeats Miami, wins Russell Athletic Bowl

By Annie Moore

In what would prove to be both Charlie Strong and Teddy Bridgewater’s last game for the University of Louisville, the famously Floridian duo led the Cardinals to a victory over the University of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Five minutes into the game, Bridgewater was sacked in the end zone for a safety, and it looked as if the Cardinals were in for a long night. These two points would turn out to be the last for Miami until the fourth quarter.

Louisville went on to score 36 unanswered points, and Bridgewater put on a clinic in his final act going 35/45 for 477 yards and three touchdowns.

The game was largely viewed as both an ACC debut for the 2014 conference addition Cardinals, and the biggest challenge on a widely-dismissed weak Louisville schedule.

“We’ve always heard that our schedule wasn’t that tough, but we were able to play a quality opponent.  That’s why you play the game, to compete,” Bridgewater said. “I’m so proud of my team and the way we played today.”

The bowl marked the Cardinals’ second-consecutive bowl victory over a Florida school, and the third of the Strong era.

One week after the game, Louisville found itself less the Head Coach and offensive leader. Bridgewater announced his entering the draft just four days after the game on New Years Day, and Strong took the head coaching position at the University of Texas at Austin a week after the game.

Louisville continues its search for a head coach and prepares to gather itself and look towards its debut season in the ACC.