University of Louisville football players walked into the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex on Sunday afternoon not sure what to expect. It was less than 24 hours after finding out Charlie Strong had left for Texas.
The mood when the players exited a 20-minute meeting with athletic director Tom Jurich was extremely upbeat and positive.
Several players on the way out of the complex were dancing and hollering about the future of the program as reporters entered the building.
The players said Jurich's message was clear, the players come first, a replacement would come fast and the program is "already built."
"His message to us was basically that we appreciate everything that coach Strong did for us, how he rebuilt the program and changed the culture," offensive lineman Jamon Brown said. "But we're not into rebuilding, we are into reloading. And that's what we are looking forward too."
Brown and quarterback Will Gardner said the team was "anxious and nervous," not knowing what was going to happen during the past 72 hours.
But center Jake Smith said now that Strong is gone he's certain that U of L will get a good coach because Jurich is "the best athletic director in the country."
U of L assistant coaches Clint Hurtt and Tommy Restivo were among the coaches spotted in the football complex on Sunday.
Brown said Jurich told the team he wasn't sure what assistant coaches would go with Strong or if any would remain at U of L.
"Now, it's time to move forward," Brown said. "There's no bitterness. I think everyone is coping with the message pretty well. It's time to move forward. We just have to go have a good season next year."
Some of the key U of L players were at the meeting, including DeVante Parker, Michael Dyer, Terrel Floyd and Lorenzo Mauldin.
"Our job as seniors is to make sure we all come together as a team," Brown said. "We still realize what we have in front of us."
Here's a story on Jake Smith's interview, saying the Cards have no ill feelings towards Strong:
LINK: U of L players no ill feelings towards Strong