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Fans pack Shelby County facility for Cardinal Caravan

June 9, 2011

New University of Louisville basketball assistant coaches Kevin Keatts, Wyking Jones and Richard Pitino enjoy a few moments with Sports Information Director Kenny Klein (third right) during the Cardinal Caravan road show Thursday at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.

Between 500 and 700 fans crowded into Floral Hall at the Shelby County Fairgrounds, prompting University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich to say that the event may have to move to a larger venue next year.

Jurich is¬†always thinking bigger and better as you know, and he didn’t disappoint this time around. He announced that construction will begin in the near future on a new U of L soccer stadium across Floyd Street from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on a site currently used as a parking lot.

“It will be a first class facility in every respect because Coach Ken Lolla is building a great program,” he said.

Jurich additionally announced that Jim Patterson Stadium, the home of the baseball team, will be surrounded by terraces and that Dan Ulmer Stadium, home of women’s softball, will have a roof added over the seating sections.

The U of L athletic director also dismissed any speculation that he would be interested in any other jobs around the country, including the Tennessee vacancy, noting that the Louisville position still includes many opportunities for growth. “We couldn’t be happier,” he told WKRD during a segment of the Afternoon Underdogs which was on remote in Shelbyville.

He reiterated that Charlie Strong was a perfect fit for U of L, having embraced and been embraced by the Louisville fan base. “He has far exceeded our expectations,” he said. “He took over a program that was in sharp decline and turned it into a bowl team. He’s facing another challenging year next season but I think things will start really coming together in his third season.”

He also expressed pride in the integrity of the coaches in the athletic department. “I couldn’t be prouder of how things are being conducted here,” he stated.
Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich were obviously not discussing the weather during a brief encounter while surrounded by dozens of fans at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. Always talking business these guys.

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