LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – The University of Louisville Ladybirds are a 17-time national championship group.

They are the most spirited and successful sports program at UofL led by coach Todd Sharp.

"The athletic department at the University of Louisville is a huge part of my life. I've built my career around it," Sharp told WHAS11.

Sharp attributes much of his success under Tom Jurich who he says was a leading advocate for Title XI and women sports at UofL.

"If you look at the incredible women that Tom has surrounded us with, it's clear he's a champion for women's athleticism," Sharp said.

Sharp says all of UofL's head coaches back Jurich. Other coaches are tweeting their support as well. The associate head baseball coach tweeted a photo of Head Coach Dan McDonnell and Jurich saying they support him.

Head Swimming Coach Arthur Albiero tweeted, "All are UNANIMOUS in support" for Jurich.

Football Coach Bobby Petrino addressed Jurich's leave of absence after Saturday's football game, telling reporters, "Besides being my boss, he's a real close friend. So, we're hoping he'll be back."

"It was unanimous that we felt we didn't want to remain silent when it came for our support for Tom. We didn't want to have regrets in saying nothing," Sharp explained.

Sharp says he will work alongside acting Athletic Director Vince Tyra to better his student athletes. Tyra described UofL athletics as a top tier program. "We've had incredible stewards of our program here. Tom has been one of those incredible stewards of the athletic program for a long time," Tyra said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

"We know we don't know everything, but we only know what we can speak for working for Tom Jurich and the leadership he's given us," Sharp said.