UofL athletics thrive under Tom Jurich


by Rachel Platt


Posted on November 6, 2012 at 1:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 6 at 2:22 PM

(WHAS11) -- Athletic Director Tom Jurich is celebrating 15 years on the job and is considered to be one of the top athletic directors in the country.

But with that success undoubtedly comes offers trying to lure your coaches away.  Tom Jurich says he's prepared.

Tom Jurich is a man with a plan and has been since the day he arrived at the University of Louisville.
With Charlie Strong making history Saturday by beating Temple and making the Cards 9-0, he is the hot ticket right now and Jurich knows it.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the rising star on the football field.

“Teddy is a world class kid ---a reflection of Charlie,” Jurich said.

Charlie Strong, the rising star on the sidelines, UofL giving him his first head coaching gig.

Tom Jurich hired him saying he was the right fit replacing Steve Kragthorpe and fired because he wasn't. Jurich studied Strong for a year and a half before making him the offer -- other offers likely coming his way.

He's quick to point out though -- the Big East won't cost him the championship.

“You play and win, you still achieve it here -- play for the national championship,” Jurich said.

As for his basketball coach, a brand new contract extension keeping Rick Pitino on the court until he's 70.

Jurich felt and knew the minute he hired him in 2001 Pitino was the right fit.

“…knew when he kicked Ellis Myles out of practice we had the right guy,” Jurich said.

Both men and women's sports have thrived under Jurich who championed gender equity.

The baseball stadium is growing, Papa John's has expanded --the silo's mark the spot where the University wanted its basketball arena with other interests winning out.

Now renewed talks of bringing the NBA to help keep the downtown Yum! Center stay financially viable and meetings by the mayor that haven't included UofL.

“I don't speak to the mayor; nothing to talk about. The NBA not an issue, never will be,” Jurich said.

Jurich prefers to concentrate on what's more likely to happen at UofL--- a potential bowl game, another Final Four.