After a December 6th press conference Louisville football coach, Charlie Strong made it clear that in no uncertain terms he was staying in the Derby City. This comes after a lot of speculation regarding an offer from the University of Tennessee to the coach, who recently fired their former coach, Derek Dooley. However, Strong indicated that his mind wasn’t on Tennessee or any other school for that matter, but was on the Cards’ post-season match-up on January 2nd against Florida in the BCS Sugar Bowl.
The Cards’ last BCS bowl game came in 2007 under Coach Bobby Petrino, when the red and black defeated Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. Louisville has gone bowling every year since Strong’s arrival in 2010 when Louisville was invited to the Beef ‘O’Brady’s Bowl, and beat Southern Miss. The Cards’ followed that appearance up with a Belk Bowl loss against North Carolina State in 2011.
Meanwhile, now that Louisville has established Strong as its coach for the foreseeable future, Kentucky is hoping to end their woes with the recent hiring of Mark Stoops. In a December 2nd press conference, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart was visibly excited to welcome in the veteran Stoops into the Cat family. This, of course, comes after the firing of Joker Phillips who’s tenure as head Cat was shaky at best.
Ironically, Phillips will actually coach against Louisville one last time this season as he quickly accepted a position as a wide receivers coach for the Gators, who will have Phillips on the field for his inaugural game with Florida on January 2nd.
Stoops comes to Kentucky after a stand-out college career of his own at Iowa, and a long assistant coaching career working for Iowa, South Florida, Miami (FL), Arizona, and most recently Florida State to name a few.