With the Louisville players and fan base still stinging from the previous night's news of Charlie Strong's departure, U of L athletic director Tom Jurich made it a point to ease the fears of both on Sunday.
First came an afternoon media address in which Jurich talked about his meeting with Strong as well as what his mindset is heading into the search for the next Cardinal football coach.
"With my next hire, my ambitions and my intentions are to find somebody that will follow up on what Charlie's built already," Jurich said. "I want to keep this going. We're so excited to move into the ACC and I want to make sure we keep that momentum going very, very Strong."
While Jurich stated that any and all candidates were in play for the job, he did mention that he had a "very short list" and that he wants to move quickly because "time is of the essence." With Louisville headed to the ACC and coming off back-to-back double digit win seasons, Jurich knows that the list of candidates who would jump at the chance to coach at U of L is larger than it's ever been.
"We have a great job here," Jurich said. "I feel like it's the best job in the country. It's a better job than it's ever been. We're going to move forward."
You can watch the news conference in its entirety below:
With that taken care of, Jurich next moved on to the team, which hadn't collectively heard from an authority figure since the news that their head coach was leaving first broke. The U of L AD addressed the players during a 3 p.m. team meeting, and apparently it went quite well.
Sounds as if Tom Jurich fired up the troops. Players say he said, "there will be no rebuilding. We're already built"— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) January 5, 2014
Mood of the team and guys we have seen is very upbeat. Some guys dancing and yelling as they leave.— Jody Demling (@jdemling) January 5, 2014
In the words of Tom... "We are already built" #CardNation— Andrew Johnson (@LockDown_15) January 5, 2014
Jurich told players "I don't care who was wearing the headset, it's your work that built this program, and will determine our future."— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) January 5, 2014
As much U of L fans didn't want to be in this situation, at least we have the peace of mind of knowing that the person who is probably better-equipped to handle it than anyone else on this planet is on the job.