Bobby Lutz Returns, Needing Not To Lose

Yes, that familiar face belongs to Bobby Lutz. No, he’s not flashing the “L” sign to University of Louisville basketball partisans. Maybe it’s the Lutz family hi sign, how else to explain it.

The pint-sized coach brings his Charlotte basketball team to Freedom Hall, scene of many nail-biting finishes when the teams were in Conference USA. His teams always seemed to fare better in Louisville than they did on their home court.

Despite the team’s 6-1 record, Lutz has plenty of motivation — hanging on to his job. Disappointed Charlotte fans were angry following an 11-20 record last year and they have begun voting with empty seats at the Charlotte Arena.

His boss, female athletic director Judy Rose, is disenchanted with how Charlotte has fared in the Atlantic 10 conference thus far:

“We’ve had time to adjust to this league,” Rose said. “It’s time for us to step up and be one of the better teams.” While Rose said she hasn’t demanded Lutz reach a certain number of wins or other benchmarks, the coach is feeling pressure again as he prepares for his 12th season at his alma mater.

Loyalty doesn’t count much when losing. Lutz turned  down an offer to be head coach at South Alabama in 2007 when John Pelphrey took the Arkansas job. He opted to stay at Charlotte, stating in an open letter to the team’s fan base that he is dedicated to the city and program.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

5 thoughts on “Bobby Lutz Returns, Needing Not To Lose

  • December 4, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    It all went downhill for Lutz, when he shaved his mustache off……

    That is probably why Pitino was joking around so much in the pre-game presser, with 3 VERY key players out, is the 11-20 record.

    BTW, Is Charlotte 5-1 or 6-1? It looks like 6-1 on their schedule, but the UofL and Charlotte site are both reporting 5-1 for both teams…….

  • December 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

    One of those wins probably an exhibition game. Thanks to my factchecker.

    • December 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

      I hear you Charlie. I was confused too when I saw it. Their schedule says that they only played one exhibition game, then have 6 games played without exhibition next to them, so I am just as confused as anyone.

      Lutz usually has a really scrappy team, and they play with passion. We have had some really good games with Lutz’s kids in the past.

  • December 5, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Love Lutz to death. Fear the ‘stache! We sat behind his wife during the C-USA conference tournament in Birmingham several years back and were cheering for the 49ers to beat UAB in one of the quarterfinal games. They did and Coach Lutz came up after the game, gave him wife a hug and she told him how loud we had been cheering for Charlotte. He thanked us, and asked if we would be sitting in the same place the rest of the tournament. We were and when we showed up for the semifinal game (against Charlotte) his wife gave us a $50 gift certificate for Dreamland Barbecue in Birmingham.

    Thus began a long friendship with the Lutz’s. We have exchanged Xmas cards with them each since and we’ll try to get courtside and say “Hi” before tonight’s game. Paul has already called him on his cell phone this afternoon to say “Hi.” Classy guy, great wife and excellent father.

  • December 10, 2009 at 11:45 am

    Go Niners, injuries or not…it’s a great win.

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