Seems like ages ago the observer stopped by a spring practice at the indoor practice facility to get a feel for how things were shaping for another new football coach.

A small crowd on hand. Greg Brohm, then director of football operations, was patrolling the sideline. He would admonish the observer for bringing a camera to the session, as he had the year before that, and the year after this one. No cameras, but he already had the photos, of course.

Also on hand were a couple of adoring middle-aged parents, there to dote on their young son, watching him pursue his dream of being quarterback at the University of Louisville. A walk on, they explained, he had played at Trinity High School. Hadn’t heard of him even though he had led the Shamrocks to a state championship. The observer posed them for a photo, one which has long since disappeared.

Recall thinking about the long odds of this youngster actually calling signals at U of L. Brian Brohm was doing quite well, Hunter Cantwell was behind him, Tyler Wolfe and Chris Simms were in the wings. Injuries, transfers and attrition might improve his chances if he’s lucky. Or maybe the Trinity football mafia could intervene. A long shot indeed.

Will Stein has overcome almost impossible odds to stand behind the center, the player with the big shoulders, the center of attention, the focus of the self-developed, all-knowing football analysts in the stands.  He has endured, stuck with it, persevered, watching those day and night dreams come true. Starting quarterback at U of L, no longer a fantasy.


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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.

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