Posted: 10:10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013
By Mike Rutherford
Knock Knock? Who's There? Tom Jurich. Tom Jurich Who? Tom Jurich, the athletic director of the University of Texas.
Laughing yet? Well, you should be. Fans of the University of Louisville understand better than most that great success is accompanied by inescapable and repetitive rumors, press and personal agendas, attempting to break the news of one of our own leaving for greener pastures. These same fans should have learned to accept these feeble acts as compliments rather than attacks or personal agenda based reporting.
If the fine folks residing here the in the greater Louisville area have not yet realized the Courier Journal is a joke of newspaper, they never will. Their embarrassing attempt to remain relevant by writing a weekly article naming one of Louisville's best possibly taking another job, is amateurish, ill-founded and simply inexcusable for the University's hometown newspaper. The Courier's filth is not worth more than a sentence or two so I will stop there.
The University of Louisville, and its accomplishments throughout its existence, should be praised, modeled and cherished. The success of the athletic department in the last 16 years is remarkable, and cliché, but true, 100% unbelievable.
Due to the vision of one man, Tom Jurich, the lasting legacy of two sporting giants, Hall of Fame Coach Denny Crum and future Hall of Famer Howard Schnellenberger, the unrivaled fan and community support, and countless hours of behind the scenes grinding by every person inside the athletic department, University of Louisville athletics have accomplished feats no other university has, and achievements many other schools cannot even dream about.
The Louisville fans and community must appreciate and take great pride in knowing that every time an athletic position opens at another school or professional organization, that our head coaches, our assistant coaches, our department heads and our athletic director are the first choice, sometimes the only choice. Success breeds success, Tom Jurich is fully aware of this fact, fully endorses it and fully understands that this is only the beginning of the next phase of Cardinal dominance.
Recently, it was announced the UT Austin athletic director position will be vacant. Naturally, and expectantly, there is only one man to sit at the helm of the largest and most powerful athletic department in all of college athletics. Tom Jurich is the only candidate, the reason, because he is the best, has been the best, and when a school has a budget of over $150 million, they only settle for the best.
People might say don't mess with Texas, and that UofL certainly cannot compete. Well ladies and gentlemen of the outside world, we aren't going to and we certainly don't have to. Aside from the dollar symbol next to their name, University of Louisville athletics surpasses Texas in every aspect, every program, every facility, every student athlete, every fan and every employee. Maybe that last sentence is not entirely true right this second, but do not doubt for a minute that Tom Jurich will not rest until it is.
Tom Jurich has zero reasons to leave this school, and the main reason he will stay, his vision, his goal and his job simply is not done. He is going to lead this university into the ACC, a dream never thought possible. Mr. Jurich is going to finish the soccer stadium, academic complex, football expansion and every other project he has set his sights on for the next 10 years. Mr. Jurich is not going to rest until this University surpasses every self-righteous, naysaying doubter that told him, and every single one of us, it could never be done at that urban commuter school. Mr. Jurich also has his son, Mark, working right by his side, studying his successes, his failures, and when the time is right, it is possible the torch will be handed straight to him. Mark has shown unrivaled success in fundraising and appears willing and well suited to continue his father's legacy.
Mr. Jurich had a vision for this school when he arrived here in 1997. 16 years later, people may ask him how it feels to look around and see all the victories, achievements, triumphs, awards and accomplishments. I am not certain what his response would be, but I can offer a guess. I fully believe he would pause for a moment, respond in his ever present relaxed and controlled tone, "it feels great, the accomplishments are fantastic, but to be honest, the job is not done, I am not done, this University can only get better, and it will."
All Hail UofL!