Frank Minnifield packed up and left but wasn’t gone for long

During the University of Louisville’s most recent graduation ceremonies, President Jim Ramsey paused to recognize a former U of L football player from the early eighties.

At 5-foot-10, 140 pounds, he was considered by many schools to be too small for college football. But then UofL coach Vince Gibson was impressed with his speed, giving him a shot as a walk-on in 1979. 

He was Frank Minnifield,  and the odds were heavily stacked against him.

“At one point he wondered if it was worth it – he packed his bags and headed home,” said Ramsey.  “But, he stopped his car before he got home to think about his future.  As he reflected in his car on the side of the road, he realized the importance of continuing his education, so he turned his car around and returned to school at UofL.  The rest is history – a great history.”

Minnifield would go on to become team captain, lead the team in kickoff returns in  1981 with a 30.4 yard average and 15 yards per punt return.  He would be signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Browns where he would enjoy a nine-year career as a cornerback and make four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances.

After football, Minnifield would start a construction company in Lexington. Today, he runs Minnifield Enterprize, which is a purchasing agent for multiple Toyota manufacturing plants and makes parts for a Toyota supplier.

He has served as a member of the U of L Board of Trustees for five years, and last year was elected to Chairman of the Board.

Louisville Football Rendering Revisited

A familiar image, even outdated and revised numerous times, this architectural rendering of an expanded Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, serves as a great reminder of where the University of Louisville football program is headed. Less than three months now the place will be packed with 57,000-plus fans. The observer will be headed out there again with the Nikon soon for another update on the progress. Meanwhile, click on the photo to get the full effect.

View From Jim Patterson Stadium

One of the many good things about watching University of Louisville baseball is the incredible view over the center field fence. The magnificent edifice of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium is a constant presence, one of the best views around of the stadium’s front porch.

With the twin pillars, the swooping white roof, the wall of windows encasing the Brown & Williamson Club, the architectural scale and detail of the stadium says first class in every respect. This view of the football stadium never gets old, a continuing reminder of how far the university’s athletic programs have advanced over the last 20 years.

Jim Patterson Stadium, of course, is another impressive example, with a nationally ranked team as the primary tenant and with an extraordinary playing surface for a field.

Quite a contrast from peering behind a post in the old Fairgrounds Stadium for decades. The view never gets old.

Update: Papa John’s Stadium Expansion

Construction crews at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium are taking their sweet time with the easiest part of the expansion, installing the rest of the chair backs. So we won’t depress you with images of how few new seats have been added in the past couple of weeks. However, they have made progress on the terrace and the installation of the new video scoreboard. (Click on images for larger views).

Update: Papa John’s Stadium Expansion

The last we checked in with the Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium expansion, the facility was blanketed in snow, the field resembling a frozen pond. The upper level appears to be ready for seats but that will probably wait a while, protecting them from the sun and fading as long as possible. The walkway is progressing nicely, and concrete should be added soon. In time for the University of Louisville’s spring football game? A definite maybe. The video is from last weekend: