Keep It In The Family


by Tom Stosberg

Excuse me. What would be wrong with a “bloodline” staff? … A coaching staff that includes former University of Louisville football players who are now successful coaches. Guys who have the red and black bloodline are out there and available. It could make plenty of sense.

Start with Jay Gruden as Head Coach and Jeff Brohm as Offensive Coordinator. Both played quarterback for one of the best offensive minds in the game, Howard Schnellenberger.

These two have very impressive pro football backgrounds. Gruden won three AFL championships as a coach and three more as a quarterback. Jeff was a pro player for five-plus years working with a wide variety of pro coaches under several offensive systems. They both know the latest spread offenses.

If Brohm won’t come back, Marty Lowe could be an outstanding offensive coordinator. Marty is in his second year as head coach at Western Carolina but he might consider coming back home if it fit his ultimate career path. He also played and coached in the Arena Football League.

Consider Ty Scroggins, the super successful Head Coach at Central High as Defensive Coordinator. Ty could bring in Mark Sander as Linebackers Coach. Mark is a former player with the Miami Dolphins and in NFL Europe. He also coached for Howard at Florida Atlantic and is currently the head coach at DeSales High School.

Mix in some coaches Jay Gruden would bring and you have a staff bound to be loyal and definitely committed to winning big time.

I personally think Jay Gruden’s track record indicates that he is a winner. And after recruiting in the AFL where the players have to hold down part time jobs to help support themselves, college recruiting could seem a whole lot easier. Think about it. Jay might possibly be a better choice than you thought “Chuckie” would have been. He might even win big and actually stay here.

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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.

10 thoughts on “Keep It In The Family

  • November 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    The more I think about it, the better I like this idea. People with good track records, former players with local connections, strong feelings for the university. This could be a major advantage over the typical career coaches always looking over your shoulder to make another move.

  • November 22, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Great post Tom and something to think about. I like your comments Charlie and the picture is great. Go CARDS!

  • November 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I agree with just about everything except bringing Jeff Brohm back in. IMO, he’s not a good OC.

  • November 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Whimsy being what it is, you can rest assured that Tom Jurich won’t be swayed by it. The decision maker will talk when he’s good and ready and any reuniting of the Schnelly family tree at UofL with Louisville is a 99-1 longshot.

  • November 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    You’re right, of course, Paul, probably greater odds than that. But it does make for some good conversation. You have to wonder about Jay Gruden. He has been successful at everything he has done.

  • November 23, 2009 at 6:37 am

    OK. I’ll play along in the fantasy Cardinal coaching league. How about Klaus Wilmsmeyer coaching the special teams or convincing David Akers to take an early retirement to assist the kickers? Sam Madison is available to school the defensive backs. Maybe Ray Buchannan could help. Big Ted Washington and Joe Johnson would be fine defensive line coaches. Stick Roman Oben in the offensive line coaching slot and line up Ernest Givins to handle the wideouts. Ralph Dawkins was a good running back and he’s available right now. Same for Jamie Asher at tight end coaching. You have to keep Greg Nord on this staff somewhere, so put him in charge of recruiting. Let Jeff Brohm school the QB’s and while were at it, let’s retrieve Gary Nord from Purdue and have him do something…special assistant to the head coach or director of football operations? With all this old pre Papa John’s talent on board, the team might as well just move back to old Cardinal Stadium and to cap it off…dig up Don Russell to handle the TV broadcasts.

    (Wake up Joe…it’s only a dream…only a dream…)

  • November 23, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I want a chance at this offense coor. job. I have called a brilliant game from our seats this seats and given enough white zinfadel, we’d be 11-0 if I were on the headsets.

    • November 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm

      Kragthorpe’s OC stint has made us all feel like we could call a game on the headsets. I don’t remember a season where I’ve predicted our offensive plays with more accuracy than this one. My non-UofL friends here in Vegas think I’m a genius in the 1st half but eventually realize Kragthorpe only runs the same 8 plays out of 2 or 3 diff formations.

      Would love to see a change, maybe with enough white zinfadel we’d witness a reverse Joe Namath postgame moment between Sonja and Terry Meiners.

      TM: “Sonja, you called a great game, the decision to run the wildcat offense with Guy and Ashley taking snaps was brill–”
      Sonja: “I just want to kiss you, Terry…”

  • November 24, 2009 at 10:49 am

    Why so cynical? A Jay Gruden as head coach is the best choice. He understands the fast paced high scoring passing game. He is an offensive genius. I came here in ’88 to be part of the greatest story in college football. That is how “Coach” sold it to me. I sacrificed everything for this program (job first, family second). Louisville is NOT Notre Dame it will continue to be a stop over job unless you hire family. Blood is thicker than water, and Jay is blood.

    I hear all of you people raving about Tuberville and Fulmer; poppycock! They will leave the ‘ville as soon as another SEC job opens up again that they want. There is alot to be said about loyalty; and family has it.

    I would welcome Jay back enthusiastically. His passing records from the ’88 season (8-3 and our first winning season in 10 years) stood until Chris Redman broke them. Not even Browning Nagle or Jeff Brohm touched his ’88 stats, look it up.

    All Jay has done since leaving Louisville is win! Win as player, win as a coach, period! He currently has the highest rated offense as co-ordinator in the UFL. What more must he prove to all of you with such short memories?

    You have probably forgotten what it was like when WKU and Murray, and EKU could give the Cards all they could handle. You have become fat on the successes of Coach Shnellenberger, John L., and Petrino. Oh what short memories you all have.

    Family first-Jay Gruden as Head coach

    • November 24, 2009 at 12:24 pm

      Ed, why so serious?

      This ain’t your father’s college football and virtually every coach in the BCS–Florida, USC, etc.–is vulnerable to leave the program at any time to pursue another “challenge”.

      Louisville would be better served to grab the best man for the job, regardless of his ties to the area, and give him a shot at turning the program around (again) before accepting a sexier job elsewhere.

      That’s the business of BCS Football in 2009. Bobby Bowden and Joe Paterno are relics of a bygone era. Even in a recession/depression, the coaching carousel keeps churning grown men on and off the bobbing unicorn we call a football head coaching vacancy.

      Get a proven up-and-comer, “get it” guy, pay him his money and pat his backside on his way out if L’ville competes for another BCS bowl in 3-5 years.

      Family first? That makes for a nice story in the C-J Sunday paper but right now this family needs the right guy, not the feel-good guy.

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