Strong trying to change [fan] culture

Since taking over at Louisville for Steve Kragthorpe in December, Charlie Strong has worked relentlessly to change the culture of a program that won just two Big East games the past two seasons. Now, as he visits with fans at the Cardinal Caravan, he's trying to do something about late arriving fans.

Since taking over at Louisville for Steve Kragthorpe in December, Charlie Strong has worked relentlessly to change the culture of a program that won just two Big East games the past two seasons.

Now, as he travels the Cardinal Caravan circuit this month, the first-year coach is trying to change another bad habit: late arriving fans at home games. Louisville fans have long been known for throwing great pre-game tailgating parties outside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Unfortunately, they're just as well known for showing up inside the stadium after kick-off.

That's something Strong is trying to change this off-season.

"I was told by some of the players that when the game starts....they would love for [all] the fans to be in their seats and I told them everything I speak I'm going to talk about that," Strong said.


Charlie Strong has been a big hit with fans at the first two Caravan stops.
He kept his word during Thursday's Cardinal Caravan stop at Captains Quarters.

"We have to put a good product on the field and give [fans] something to be proud about," Strong said. "I've been to all these different stadiums and what I want to see here is to just feel the intensity when we walk into the stadium. We're going to put a good product on the field and play our [hearts] out."

Since spring practice concluded last month, Strong's staff has focused much of their attention to recruiting. The Cardinals already have 12 verbal commitments in the 2011 class – a class that MaxPreps.com ranks as one of the nation's Top 20.

"Right now our coaches are out recruiting and some of our players are here for the May [school] session," Strong said. "Then in June they'll all be here and get a chance to work out and go to summer school."

Strong said he was pleased with how hard his players worked this spring.

"We had a chance to go through spring practice and got a chance to re-evaluate the players," Strong said. "What I really liked is how the players came out and really worked hard and did everything that we asked them to do."

As he travels around the state for various Caravan events this spring, Strong said he gets asked by fans one question more than any other.

"Who's going to be the quarterback?," Strong said. "That's always the question. We have [Will] Stein, [Adam] Froman, and [Justin] Burke, all three guys are competing. We'll make a decision in fall camp."

The other questions he hears frequently? How good will his first team be?

"It's hard to say how good we're going to be," said Strong. "But we'll put a product on the field that everyone will be excited about."

Athlon preseason magazine recently ranked Louisville 79th in the nation and predicted the Cards would finish last in the eight team Big East.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories