LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A few weeks ago Cards fans held their breath and waited to hear if head football coach Charlie Strong was staying at Louisville. After Coach Strong turned down the job at Tennessee, a group of fans found a big way to say thank you.
When Charlie talks, the players and the fans listen.
“When we came here on Senior Day for the Connecticut game we get off the bus and I don't care what time the Card March is. Heck if it's 8 o'clock in the morning, it's 8 o'clock in the morning. No one came out but we had the real fans out there. I'm not saying we didn't have anyone,” Strong said.
Well a group of real fans came together to show their devotion to Coach Strong in a very public way.
“We got a billboard to make sure we got the message across that we support him,” fan Aaron Young said.
Young led the charge and came up with these words.
“Charlie, we couldn't be happier you're staying. We believe in you. Thanks for believing in us. See you at Cards March 2013,” Young said.
It echoes Charlie's sentiments.
“If you support your program, you support your program,” Charlie Strong said.
“It was really just a grassroots approach, calling a lot of people asking people to donate as much as they could to it. It took about 26 of us to raise the money to get that,” Young said.
It cost nearly $4,000 to post that promise to Charlie and it will stay on I-65 for four weeks.
“I love it; I think it's awesome,” fan Mike Kunker said.
“I would like to know that he's seen it and that the message has been received because of all the efforts everybody's put in, to have some recognition that he has seen it,” Young said.
The athletic department at the University of Louisville says Charlie Strong saw the sign on Thursday. They said he has no formal response, but now we know he got the message. As the support shifts south to the Sugar Bowl, Cards fans are hoping to send their opponents a message.
“We're going to win,” Kunker said. “Louisville by three,” Young said. “I think Louisville is going to win,” fan Courtney Atcher said.
Win or lose on January second, the Cards are committed--just like their coach.
“Keep doing what you're doing and stay strong in what you say,” Atcher said.
“Charlie, I will be at Cards March 2013. Thanks for staying,” Young said.
“Charlie Strong, I'm glad you stayed brother..number one the Cardinals,” Kunker said.
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