Strong, Kordes Lolla Meet the Press

Some observations from the first of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong’s weekly pressers, in advance of Thursday’s opening kickoff with Murray State.

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Both Ken Lolla, mentor of the #1 ranked Louisville Cardinal futbol team, and Anne Kordes, first year volleyball coach, spoke on the undercard, and mentioned Strong with affection and admiration that was not pro forma. Lolla spoke of a cookout Strong hosted at his home this summer for the U of L athletic department. He mentioned how unusual it is to have a football coach so interested in the rest of the school’s teams, Strong was apparently in the house for the opening soccer W against UCLA.

After Kordes addressed the media, she stopped for a genuine hug with Charlie Strong. Plus a several minute conversation that was obviously of substance and indicated a legit relationship between the two.

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Lolla is a coach with a confidant mien. He speaks with certainty and perspective.

His take is that Louisville’s pressure, especially on D, wore down the second ranked Bruins on Saturday. He also admonished, “It was fortuitous we caught UCLA in the first game of the season.”

He feels his team will be tested this weekend with two away games against Southern Cal and Wake Forest.

* * * * *

It was the first time I heard Anne Kordes talk. This is a woman in charge. She reminds me of a young Pat Summitt, always in command of the situation. On the court and off.

She speaks in specifics and with authority. When explaining why this year’s squad is short-handed by two schollies, it was obvious she has a long term plan for success.

She spoke glowingly of Gwen Rucker, who formerly played both hoops and volleyball. “She’s a potential first team All-America.”

The squad opened with two Ws last weekend in Atlanta over Tennessee Tech and Kansas State. Then allowed a 2 games to love lead against Georgia Tech to slip away for a 2-3 L.

This weekend the Cards play Ole Miss, Eastern Illinois and Wichita State at sold out Cardinal Arena.

After the last question, she looked the assembled media in the eye. “You guys coming to our game Friday night?

“Any of you all seen a volleyball game?”

Keep your eyes on Louisville volleyball. The eyeball test tells me Tom Jurich made another very wise hire in Anne Kordes.

* * * * *

Charlie Strong didn’t provide much new info.

Center Mario Benavides, DL stalwart B.J. Butler, Corvin Lamb and Jalen Harrington are injured and will definitely not see action in the opener. Alex Kupper will start at center. (Which means up the middle on O, U of L will be starting two Trinity grads, both of whom walked on the Belknap Campus.) The other starters on the OL will be Jake Smith, Ryan Kessling, John Miller and Hector Hernandez.

There has been zero contact from the NCAA regarding Clint Hurtt, who, Strong advised, will continue in the same duties as always.

Strong, when asked about the Hurtt situation at Miami: “We run a clean program. We have to take care of our program. The focus is on our team.”

All three QBs, Will Stein, Teddy Bridgewater and Dominique Brown, will play against Murray State.

Murray State QB, Casey Brockman, like Stein, started as a walk on. He was Ohio Valley Conference Offensive POY.

Strong and Racers’ coach Chris Hatcher are good friends. Hatcher was slated to be Strong’s first QB coach at U of L, but took the Murray job, “because he had some coaching friends from Southern Miss who needed jobs,” according to Strong. Hatcher was an assistant under Hal Mumme at UK.

* * * * *

The best line of the day came from Will Stein.

When asked what it means to “manage the game,” Stein said, “Coach always says ‘Don’t be Brett Favre,’ but every once in awhile you have to be.”

– Seedy K


  1. Frank
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Seedy, do you like the old school Cardinal head better than the new one, or do you just not have the new one in your list of graphics? No biggie, just wonderin’.

  2. c d kaplan
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    I have several Cardinal logos sitting on my desktop to change around. If the new one you’re talking about has a wing as kind of an L underneath the head, I don’t especially like that one. And, while I’m never shy about letting my feelings known, the use of this one for this blog was not meant as any type of statement.

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