The better football programs usually have marching bands to match, and the University of Louisville is seeking greatness on both fronts.
After an early morning practice Tuesday, Charlie Strong took his team over to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, not for still more conditioning or for special plays. No, he wanted his players to see the marching band at work.
“What we sometimes forget is just how hard other people work,” Strong said after the exercise. “We just wanted to make sure that we let (the marching band) know we support them, just like they support us.”
This was the second year in a row Strong has hooked up with the band. Wanting his players to be familiar with the fight song and the alma mater. Know the words, wanting them to have the lyrics, providing them with printed copies.
There are reports that many of the players were singing along. What Charlie Strong wants, Charlie Strong gets.
“They really were singing , not belting it out or anything, but they were obviously caught up in the moment,” said Mark J. Lynn, assistant director of the marching band. “Coach Strong, his assistants, the managers, they were enthusiastic.”
Lynn noted that the UofL coach spoke to the band about his vision for the program and how the band fits into the overall picture. “He wants to see the band grow and flourish along with his football program,” said Lynn. “Coach Strong is a motivator and the band was inspired by his remarks.”
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater also spoke to the band members, letting them know that they are important in creating a winning atmosphere at home games.
“We were coming to end of our summer band camp, and the football team is getting close to end of its camp,” said Lynn. “I believe we may have begun a great tradition. It’s wonderful to have their total support. “
Some faculty members associated with the band indicate that the UofL staff was aggressively recruiting during the past year. They are optimistic about the results, which should be evident when the football season kicks off against Ohio University on Sept. 1.
While Charlie Strong will be focused on his team, he’s obviously keeping an eye on the band as well, anticipating execution in both departments.