ITV Q & A: Tony Levine

Tony Levine, who serves as the Cardinals Director of Football Operations, recently visited with ITV and discussed scheduling, a video equipment upgrade, changes for fall practice and more.

As Louisville's Director of Football Operation, Tony Levine stays quite busy. ITV caught up with Levine recently and discussed a number of topics.

Prior to coming to Louisville, Levine served one-year at Louisiana Tech as the Tight Ends Coach and Special Teams Coordinator. He has previously spent time on the staffs at Auburn and Southwest Texas State.

He was also three-time letterwinner (1993-95) as a wide receiver for the University of Minnesota.

ITV: Prior to your coming to Louisville you served as the Tight Ends Coach and Special Teams Coordinator at Louisiana Tech. What was it that enticed you to make the move to Louisville as the Director of Football Operations?

Levine: More than anything it was the opportunity to work with Bobby Petrino. In the short 5 or 6 months that I have had the chance to get to work with him while I was at Auburn, I couldn't have been any more impressed with the person that he is and the character that he has. When the opportunity presented itself to come and work for him, coupled with the fact that it was at such a great university and city as Louisville, it was really a no-brainer for me.

ITV: Do you miss interacting with the players as a position coach?

Levine: Naturally there are aspects of that I miss and there are aspects of being a position coach that I don't miss. Recruiting, I don't have to go on the road, which my wife definitely likes. There are things about my job now as Director of Football Operations that I absolutely love that I didn't have being a position coach. I can see myself doing this for a really long time.

ITV: Not all fans know exactly what the position of Director of Football Operations entails. What are some of the things that you do on a daily basis?

Levine: I'm really responsible for the day to day operation for the football program. That encompasses scheduling, and when I say scheduling, I mean both with our travel and our football schedule. The overall organization of recruiting and our camps. Really, anything that Coach Petrino needs me to do, which will give him more time to spend on working on our offense.

ITV: I understand that the program is getting new video equipment.

Levine: Pinnacle is a system we've had and we are upgrading our existing system to basically Louisville where everybody else is in the country. Part of the reason that coaches work such long hours these days is due to the upgrade in the use of video equipment. Each coach now has his own coach station in his office, which is something that haven't had here in the past and we've upgraded some things in our team meeting room and in offensive and defensive staff rooms.

ITV: You mentioned scheduling. Are you able to comment on teams that you are talking to?

Levine: At this point we aren't going to comment publicly on who we are trying to schedule. Our schedule is pretty much set through 2011. That could change obviously. Duke and Baylor just backed out of games a few weeks ago. Even though we are basically full through 2011 there are still some teams that we are talking to right now about possibly putting them on the schedule and then finding ways to get out of other contracts. I promise you this, if we get an agreement, which I think we are very close on two of these teams, there will be no doubt about it, it won't be easy to get tickets to these games in our stadium.

ITV: What's your opinion on all the Big East speculation?

Levine: There is so much speculation going on right now about the possible conference realignments. We are just in a wait and see position. We have done some things to be proactive here at the University of Louisville, but right now the whole country is a wait and see mode as we all wait to see what Miami does. I've heard a number of people say that outside of the BCS schools, that the University of Louisville would be the number one choice for a BCS bid.

ITV: Do you have an estimated time of arrival for the incoming freshmen?

Levine: It actually varies. Naturally, a couple of kids that are local have all ready starting coming by and working out with the team. Brent Moody and Todd Brigman are here right now. We don't tell them to come in early, but some just want to get here and start their training early. Our players will report August 6th and then practice begins August 7th.

ITV: Talk about the new set of rules for practice for this year?

Levine: This is for every Division I team in the country. All the players report on the same day. This is the first time that this has ever happened. They are starting what they call a 5-day acclimatization period. What they are doing that for, is basically because of the last few years when they have had some of these deaths occur in football. That 5-day acclimatization period you are allowed one practice per day. The first two days are in helmets only. The third and forth days are in helmets and shoulder pads and then the fifth day can be in full days.


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