by Tom Stosberg

It’s going to be difficult the next few days for some of us as we recover from PCW syndrome (see above). We had high hopes that Tom Jurich was going to pull off the stunt of the century – hiring Jon “Chuckie” Gruden.

But now it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. And some of us are having a little letdown. So now our spouses and friends are patting us on the heads, consoling us, telling us that it will still be okay. We’ll still get a good coach.

I guess it’s going to be alright but when you have your hopes set on getting someone who would literally blow the lid off college football … a guy who would have ESPN and every blog in the stratosphere sizzling … a bigger-than-life personality who would instantly ignite the fan base, reinvigorate recruiting and send season ticket sales soaring, it’s difficult to come back to reality.

After all, there’s nothing to indicate that TJ would even consider the possibility of hiring that particular Gruden brother, much less waste any time trying. While TJ is a visionary, he’s not reckless.

So I guess it was just a pipe dream, having Chuckie here for a couple of years with brother Jay as offensive coordinator waiting in the wings. And when Jay became head coach, Jeff Brohm taking over as OC. We’d have genuine Cardinal blood running through the system. You know, the tradition and heritage thing like the mega programs have.

So my wife advised it’s time to give up the notion and not to be sad about it. “We’ll still get a good coach”, she said. “It’ll be okay.” So I guess I’m back down to earth now.

But do you think….?

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By Charlie Springer

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

14 thoughts on “Post Chuckie Withdrawal”
  1. One just never knows about football coaches. The almighty dollar rules supreme. Gruden could still come if offered more than ESPN. Once you’ve been in the game it’s hard to stay away, as Bret Favre keeps demonstrating.

    One thing about Jon Gruden: He would never take crap from a bunch of wimpy, ignorant, over zealous fans. If fans got their feelings and psyches bent out of shape by a couple of innocent Tom Jurich remarks, they would go into convulsions when Gruen exposed them as frauds, knowing little to nothing about the game of football.

  2. It is not over to the fat lady sings. Jurich has to get a name head coach with a proven track record! We can not take a chance on an OC or DC that might work out. This is a career maker or breaker hire for Jurich. He has to get it right this time. So he needs to get on his knees and beg Jon Gruden or Tommy Tuberville to take the job.

  3. With all due respect Wilkie01, Tom Jurich doesn’t have to prove himself to U of L or the fan base. I agree with you that it is vital for him to replace this guy with a winner but TJ has already proven himself with the brilliant coaching hires he has made over the years – in ALL sports. Tom Jurich is and will always be a winner and U of L and the fan base is very fortunate to have him here – I hope he honors his “contract for life”. Go CARDS!

  4. It’s only a dream. And Jurich does need to prove something to himself…that he can hire a football coach this time that won’t put it in reverse and mash down on the accelerator.

  5. Linda,

    let him blow this hire and you will see the storm that will follow. Tom is good but not God. He gets a lot of credit for things that Bill Olsen already had in the works.

  6. We all take our football (and baseball) seriously but the tough guy talk will not be tolerated for long.

  7. Tom could screw up the next three football hires, which he won’t, and still be considered the best athletic director in the country. Too many of our fans were new to football success and didn’t and still don’t know how to handle the down times, starting with opening kickoff to Murray State in this case. Instead of showing up when they were most needed, they sat on their butts crying and bitching at home. More disillusionment ahead, much more, no matter who is hired. Brace yourself and get your smelled butt back out to Papa John’s.

    1. With regard to fan behavior, there are many programs with fans who aren’t so “new to football success” that have experienced similar experiences as Louisville this year and in the past.

      Just ask any Georgia fan who was there for the recent loss at home against Kentucky this year. They booed their own players…on Senior Night! When the competition level dips, the fans become frustrated and a few fringe lunatics hurl slurs at the coach’s wife and/or boo the players. The community spends a lot of money supporting UofL so let’s not get too bent out of shape over a couple poor showings at Papa John’s. And the boo-birds at Murray State were joking btw. Let it go.

      Tom Jurich acknowledged that fans and economics–which go hand-in-hand–had a big play in Krag’s firing. Not sure if that was smart of him to reveal that in a public forum because it justifies many fan’s actions, those who said they were not attending games to get a new coach; a strategy that in the long run (at least in their minds) would ultimately benefit the players.

      And if Tom made 3 bad football hires in a row, he wouldn’t be winning any AD of the year awards. Tennis, soccer, women’s basketball–those are all great sports with great student athletes but football and men’s basketball are the money-makers. He’s not signing Lolla or Walz to $4.45M buyout contracts. Another $10M hiring mistake, much less 3 in a row, would not bode well for his relationship with the community. The fact that he was the best AD in 2006 and that he was given a lifetime contract doesn’t matter when he’s losing money and games for 10 straight years afterwards. Not that anyone’s saying that is even remotely possible with Jurich but one should be careful how emotionally blameful they are with the fans and realize that there’s more to it than loyalty.

  8. No Gruden, at least not Jon. I know a guy who was on The Schnell’s staff and bumped into him a while back at Check’s. He showed me his cell which had a missed call from Jay Gruden. I asked him to let me know what Jay had to say. And what he said was no way, Jose. He siad Jon had a good deal with MNF which was (this was before the announcement) going to get better. And that there was only one college job he would even think about for a minute and that was Notre Dame.

    Barring any 180 degree changes I feel it’s pretty safe to say whoever the new coach is he won’t be Chuckie.

  9. Right now Strong does appear to be the man but would he wait for the opening at South Florida next year?

    1. UofL could easily be considered a better job than South Florida. Yes, Florida produces more players than Kentucky but we are one of only two major schools in the state. There are four in Florida and there is no question that South Florida is in fourth place.

      And there is no NFL competition either which it could be argued makes South Florida #5. Or if you include the Dolphins #6.

  10. Waiting for South Florida would be a major blunder. He needs to move while the iron is hot. If Jurich has decided he’s the one, that is.

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