Vince Gibson Spawned The Red Rage
The image of flag girls waving “Red Rage” banners for the University of Louisville band stirred memories of Vince Gibson for many veteran fans at the football opener.
Gibson coined the “Red Rage” phrase when he took over U of L football in 1975 to market the football program. The symbol caught on, appearing on everything from the team’s uniforms to fan gear. Even Denny Crum liked it, using the imagery with his basketball program.
A couple of years later, athletic director Dave Hart would introduce the concept of tailgating at Louisville football games. The idea took off immediately, with U of L later recognized by a national publication as one of the best tailgating programs.
Vince Gibson, the Red Rage theme and the tailgating concept couldn’t have converged at a better time. The NCAA’s football powers, in 1977, voted to split into two divisions — Division 1A for schools averaging more than 17,000 fans, and Division 1AA for everybody else.
Louisville would make the cut for Division 1A in 1978, with an average attendance of just over 19,790 per game.
Gibson left after the 1979 season and a won-lost record of 25-29-2 for the head coaching job at Tulane, where he would coach for three seasons. He resides now in New Orleans where he was in the travel industry for several years. Earlier this year, he attended a reunion with Bobby Bowden at South Georgia College where they began their football coaching careers together.