A mere year ago coming off the Sugar Bowl victory, you paraphrased Stephen Covey: 'You can buy a person a lot, but you can't buy his heart. His heart is where his enthusiasm is, where his loyalty is.' My enthusiasm and heart are with the University of Louisville." Charlie, it seems your heart has a price, and Texas has your heart now.
A year ago you said those words, Charlie. And now you stand under a different beam of stadium lights, far removed from the heart of Louisville.
It goes without saying that we Louisvillians love sports. Love to the point of passion and mayhem erupting throughout social media when the news of your departure to Texas broke. When you left us for Texas, we were dismayed at how you went about leaving. Your Cardinal players resorted to using #Liedtomestraight to show how they felt on your departure. Your players, who you coached and acted as more than a coach for many, felt a complicated mix of betrayed loyalty and gratitude.
We expected more, Charlie. Standing outside of Papa John’s Stadium on January 4th, Cardinal fans and Louisville media expected more as we stood in bitter cold. We expected more of you for the players you had led, rather many of those players received the news from Twitter or Sports Center updates. We expected an upfront coach. But we understand
While we feel as if you snuck away in the middle of the night like escaping a bad one-night stand, we wish you the best. We wish you the best because Tom Jurich recognizes “the great job (you) did in this community.” And thus, we stand firm on the foundation of the words of our fierce leader, Tom Jurich. And in Tom we trust.
When talking to Cardinal players who thought of leaving UofL, Charlie, you said, “It’s all about the university; it’s not about the coach.” You couldn’t be more right. It’s about the university, and UofL is stronger than Strong’s departure.
We wish you the best at Texas, but most of all, we will give you a big “L” down the road when we are the football empire you left us to lead.
Photo courtesy of Adam Creech
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