Fans will notice a few obvious changes when the Cardinals take the field for their first practice at 5:20 p.m. The biggest, without question, is new head coach Steve Kragthorpe, who replaces Bobby Petrino. Petrino, who guided Louisville to a 41-9 record in four seasons, left Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons shortly after the Cardinals historic Orange Bowl victory over Wake Forest last January.
"I'm excited about the start of camp," Kragthorpe said. "It's an exciting time as a coach and I know the players are very excited. I'm excited to get on this field and start to mold and shape this team."
While there has been a change on the sidelines, Louisville returns plenty of experienced talent on the field, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Brian Brohm. The Orange Bowl MVP, Brohm and the Cardinals have high expectations heading into the season.
As the defending Big East champion, Louisville, even with Brohm at quarterback, will have a difficult time repeating last season's success. The Cardinals, picked to finish second in the league by the media, must travel to West Virginia and South Florida. The Mountaineers, the preseason Big East favorite, enters the season ranked in the nation's Top 10, while the Bulls are considered a dark-horse contender for the league title.
Thursday at 5:20.
"The Big East looks phenomenal," said junior center Eric Wood. "From top to bottom the Big East will be a real good conference."
Another big change for Louisville is the annual game against rival Kentucky. Normally played as the season-opener for both teams, the Cardinals and Wildcats won't play until the third week of the season in Lexington. Louisville's first game is August 30 at home against Murray State.
That gives Louisville 29 days to prepare for the season-opener against the Racers. Practice begins Thursday at 5:20. The first three practices are open to the public. Friday and Saturday's practices also start at 5:20.
"We've got a lot of work to do in the next 29 practices to be the kind of team we want to be going into the season," Kragthorpe said. "We're excited about the potential that this team has and that's where we're at right now. We have a lot of potential, but we've got to put the pieces of this puzzle together."
"Fan Day," a chance for fans to interact with players and coaches, is scheduled for Saturday, August 4. Fan Day festivities will take place between 9-10 a.m. in the concourse area of PJCS. Fans will be able to enter the stadium through Gate 4.
Cards have new motto - B.A.T
Last year, Louisville's motto was "finish." This season, Steve Kragthorpe is looking to do some heavy slugging, as suggested by the team's new motto - B.A.T.
"B.A.T. – Better After Today," Kragthorpe said. "We want to be a better team after today than we were yesterday. So each day we're going to try to be the best possible football team we can be at the conclusion of that particular practice."
Kragthorpe announces staff additions
University of Louisville head football coach Steve Kragthorpe announced the additions of Jeff Lewis and Dave Kragthorpe to the 2007 football staff.
Lewis, a former National Football League quarterback, has been named an administrative assistant on the offense. Lewis spent five seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos (1996-98) and the Carolina Panthers (1999-2000). He was a four-year starter at Northern Arizona University, where he received his degree in psychology.
Kragthorpe, the father of the Louisville head coach and a long-time collegiate coach, was named an administrative assistant to the head coach.
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