Indoor facility puts Cards on edge of 'arms race'

U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich and head coach Bobby Petrino explain that the addition of the Trager Center Indoor Practice Facility to the football complex will keep the Cardinal program among the best in the country.

When the University of Louisville made the decision to build Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, it made sure that it included a state-of-the-art weight room, training rooms, study hall and other features that would make it one of the finest in the nation.

Under the direction of U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich, the school has kept that same philosophy when undertaking other such projects as Cardinal Park, the Ralph Wright Natatorium, Jim Patterson Stadium and the now under construction Trager Center Indoor Practice Facility.

"It's impressive because there has been such generosity here from so many great individuals in this community," said Jurich on Tuesday. "I think we've raised over $120 million over the last six years for various projects. That to me is unprecedented. We don't get any real state aid, so this has been a real benefit to us."

For head football coach Bobby Petrino, the addition of the Trager Center Indoor Practice Facility makes his already great product an even more appealing option to recruits when visiting U of L.

"We were in good shape without the indoor facility," Petrino said. "We always felt that if we were able to get guys on campus that we had a great chance of getting them. Now, when you add that to it, it is just going to make it that much better."

Jurich, who stressed that championships are what each team at U of L strive towards, realizes that to do so, he must equip his coaches with the best facilities available.


Trager Center Indoor Facility
"This is an arms race and unfortunate as that might be, that's the world we are living in right now," said Jurich. "We are in big time college athletics and I think the venues that we are playing in now are as good as any that we will see in the country."

Petrino agreed, adding that today's players put a lot of emphasis on facilities when making their visits to various school's around the country.

"I think we are right on the front edge of it," said Petrino. "Unfortunately it is a material world. When you bring young guys on campus and they have the ability to go and visit other campuses, they want to look and see how good the facilities are. It's something that when young men go out to visit different campuses that it will really factor into their decision."

However, last year's C-USA Coach of the Year continued to explain that he sells much more than just great facilities while recruiting potential future Cardinals.

"What I always talk to the young men about is that you want the ability to go to a place where you know that you can become the best possible player that you can," he explained. "That's what it is really about. To be able to go into a weight room and to get your body to be the best it can be."

While the new indoor facility will make the Cardinals complex on Floyd Street even more attractive to prospective athletes, Petrino said that his program was already on par with the nation's other top ten programs.


With a lead gift of $2 million,
Bernard Trager helped make the
construction of the indoor
facility a reality

"I thought that we were the last two years," explained Petrino. "I talked to our players about that. Our expectations are extremely high and I want us to understand that we are a top ten team and that I expect us to work and practice like that. I want our coaches to go and recruit players that should be in the top ten when you recruit them. We have felt like that and this should make it that much better."

With the dedication to provide the finest facilities to his coaches, Tom Jurich believes that while the athletic success the school enjoyed over the past 12 months was exciting, it wasn't satisfying.

"None of our coaches are satisfied," Jurich said. "I think all of our great successes are in front of us."

For Petrino, the continual presence of construction cranes on campus means the tradition of winning championships at U of L will continue to grow.

"The thing that is so unique about the University of Louisville is that everything is so new," he said. "The tradition is just being set and that is a credit to Tom [Jurich]. That's what so fun about bringing a recruit to campus – everything is new. It's an exciting time."

The Trager Center Indoor Practice Facility is expected to be completed by December 1st.

NOTE:

  • Tom Jurich said the planned construction of a new basketball/volleyball practice facility is moving forward and that ground may be broken as early as this fall.


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