By Tom Stosberg

Editor’s note:  Somebody has their hackles up.

It may be a long, long time before Charlie Strong learns during his on–the-job-training at the University of Louisville exactly what it takes to beat a cupcake. During his 17-game stint, Strong has yet to learn that his choice of assistant coaches will greatly affect his chances of winning.

One detriment to Strong’s future will be if defensive backs coach, Larry Slade, is still gainfully employed on Charlie’s staff this coming Monday morning.  Slade, the only holdover from the pitiful Kragthorpe era, continues to suffer from a variety inabilities including a complete lack of the ability to teach the game of football and no ability whatsoever to motivate student athletes to play the game of football.

This is blatantly evident in the fact that in Slade’s three years here, not a single defensive back has shown any indication that he has a clue regarding where he is supposed to be on the field. Passing against the Slade’s defensive backs is like taking candy from a baby.

Know this. I am absolutely sure beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Larry Slade is positively the nicest person in the world, behind only Mother Teresa and S. Kragthorpe, but he has to go. Now.

But that’s not all. Offensive line coach Dave Borbely is among the worst Offensive Line coaches in the game today. Not only is Borbely a disgrace as a teacher and motivator, he’s also one of the worst at evaluating talent. He is the only person in the U of L Program who DOESN’T know that U of L should have gone to the JUCO ranks to get THREE — not one, but three — offensive linemen to shore it up for Teddy Bridgewater. Bad planning, bad management, bad coaching, grounds for dismissal.

Borbely has a lousy track record. I was very disappointed when I learned that Strong hired him in the first place. His resume includes those super football powerhouses Rice, Temple and Tulane plus 4 years at that legendary bastion of major college football, University of Virginia. Zowie.

Louisville’s (Borbely’s) offensive line is both passive and lazy. They buy their clothes at Lane Bryant and they couldn’t block their grandmothers. Other than that, they are lovely boys.

Dear Coach Strong, if you want to be a nice guy to a bunch of cronies, go coach badminton. If you want to be a head coach, you have to get rid of the dead weight.

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By Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

20 thoughts on “OJT for beating cupcakes”
  1. Tom that is a fair assessment of defensive back coach Larry Slade and Offensive line coach Al Borbely. However, you cannot give OC Stanford a pass for his losy play calling and that spread offense. We have to get back to the pro set and the two back offense as well.

    1. Sorry Wilkie, that doesn’t fair to well these days. Big time recruits like playing in some sort of the spread offense and a majority of the FBS schools are using some form of it.

  2. You are starting to sound like the fans in blue. Who coached our safeties last year? I thought our offensive line blew uk off the ball? More Jucos? That is one reason our junior and senior class is so thin. Chill gentleman. This will take time.

    1. If you haven’t seen the deer-in-the-headlights demeanor of our defensive backs the past thre plus years, I can’t help you.

    2. Fans in blue? Give me a break!What are you smokin’?

      The blue people are SATISFIED with mediocrity…they thrive on it…they go 6-6 and they act like they just won the National Championship. They’ll take any stinkin’ bowl on the planet and be as happy as if they had their right minds!

      The true Cardinal fans have high aspirations…they want a top ten ranking in football because they had a taste of it and they want more.
      No you missed the mark on that one Brent…but hang in there big guy…Brother Strong ight just be able to make ’em mad enough to shame them into out playing the coaching…although he may have to get rid of a couple of pitiful motivators.

  3. My biggest objection is referring to Kragthorpe as a nice person. I personally caught him in a major lie and when I recounted it to a professional local sports media guy (who you will see has to remain nameless)he responded with the comment that Kragthorpe lied to all of the local media. No one had any respect for him for that very reason.

  4. it’s Dave Borbely…not Al. Can’t coach what isn’t present…the offensive line is very short on players.

    1. Yes it is Dave not Al..I was so mad I couldn’t see straiight because NONE of the coaches had his kids pepared.The are paid to be both teachers and motivators. If they are not able to do those things they need to seek other employument.

      1. Oh and thanks again for correcting me Bob, er…Earl..or Saul..uh Paul…hey are you the same Paul who played the spoons for the Juggernaut Jug Band?…or was he the short guy with the bad tooth who fell in well split his ear drum? Did you run over a Nun in a Volkswagen when we were in High School? Your voice sounded familiar. I think I remember your feet. I think I reconize you from when were were in the witness protection program together and you disguised yourself as an elf. Hey it was great seeing you again. Please don’t call me.

        1. LOL. OK, big guy. Take a step back from the keyboard and down some Bosco or Chocola. Although I have enjoyed the wackiness of the Juggernaunt Jug Band many times over the past 36 years…I’ve never taken stage with them. My performances with the Robbie Bartlett band, however…are legendary.

          No VW van in my past, the witness protection program kicked me out when I rejoined the Irish Mafia and the nun incident was in response to the still-deformed fingers and knuckles I have because of ruler-whacking by Sister Agnes.

          Dave (and Al) Boberly send their regards.

  5. The whole coaching staff did a poor job. Not one group of players was too much better than Marshalls. What bothered me the most is seeing the look on the faces of Marshalls guys. They were very surprised to be in the game, let alone winning it.

  6. I’m still on the side of Borebly and Slade. When they have experienced players with talent, they’ll be fine. I question the way too conservative play calling of the OC.

  7. I agree that sometimes our DB’s are out of position, but the defense is not the issue. As a whole, our D has left us in the position to win every game.

    The o-line is atrocious, and when the o-line is atrotious all the talent in the world at the skill positions isn’t going to help. Look no further than 2002. Juco’s are not the answer either. They are a band aid at best, and maybe 1 in 5 actually develop into contributors. I’d rather eat these two years of Krag stink and develop balanced classes than have the same reoccurring issues forever.

    I understand losing sucks but some of this stuff is cutting off the nose to spite the face, and I think that’s why the other guy made the UK reference. No one is accepting mediocrity, but i think most of us are willing to accept the hand that was dealt to this staff. Instead of plugging holes to sporadically win today they’re playing for long term, sustained, success.

    1. I am in total agreement with you. And let me once again quote Bobby Layne. “Even God needs three seconds to complete a pass.”

      1. I should have added that to paraphrase Al McGuire you can’t coach a lack of talent. I didn’t hear any complaints about the O_line coaching last year when we had a great running game. Did our O-Line coach get stupid all of a sudden or did he find himself without talent due to Coach He Whose Name Shall Not Be Mentioned?

  8. I have akways know, that great coaches win. Great talent can make a lesser coach look great. You know a coach is great, when he can win with lesser talent.

  9. One good thing about the ugly performances this weekend–at least it has stopped all the blathering about joining the Big 12 so we can play some ‘real’ football. It seems obvious even to the casual observer that we aren’t there yet. (to say the least)… Will we ever be ready for a big-time football conference? You might argue that, but the University was offically formed in 1848. Don’t know how long we’ve played football, but out of those 163 years, how many years has our football team cracked the top twenty–three or four, maybe? Luckily, the hoops guys are nearly ALWAYS there, or close, thanks to some quality programs through the years. Another BIG difference in recruiting for the two sports–in one, the student-athlete feels fortunate to be chosen. In the other, the University feels lucky to get the kid. It’s going to take time to build a pigskin tradition, but I hope we as fans keep our eyes on the long-term goal. It’s going to take some ugly years, apparently, until the cupboard is full of kids who can. And will.

  10. Bringing in Juco OL recruits is what got us in the present situation. That’s how we ended up graduating all our OL last year and only had one returning this year. JUCO is not the answer. Krags and former OL coach, Brent Myers, did that and look at us now. We have to recruit 4 year players on the O-Line.

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