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Jeff Walz receives contract extension from U of L

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Terrific day on Floyd Street.

Louisville v NC State Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Nice little Friday morning here.

Here’s the release from U of L:

It was announced today that University of Louisville women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz has agreed to a revised contract which includes an extension through 2028-29.

“First off, I would like to thank Lori Stewart Gonzalez, Josh Heird, Amy Calabrese and the UofL Athletic Board for recognizing the success we have had here with women’s basketball and extending my contract through 2029,” said Walz. ”I’m extremely excited about the direction of our athletic department and I am just as excited about our program as I was when I first got here. I am blessed to be surrounded by an amazing staff and to coach wonderful young women who represent their families, our program, the University and the city of Louisville with class and pride.

“It is the players who have made this a perennially elite women’s basketball program. And it’s the relationships developed with those players, both past and present, that is most important to me. It’s been 15 years of hard work, doing things the right way, that have made this extension possible. My wife, children and I love the University and we can’t thank the city of Louisville enough for their support of women’s basketball.”

This season, his 15th as head coach, Walz has led the Cardinals to a 25-4 record and they are ranked No. 4 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Louisville is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in program history. The Cardinals were also a No. 1 seed in 2018 and 2019, and they are the only team in the country to be a No. 1 seed in three of the last four tournaments.

With Walz at the helm, the Cardinals boast quite an astounding resumé that includes 10 trips to the NCAA Sweet 16, six trips to the Elite Eight, three trips to the final four and two trips to the national title game. Overall, he has compiled a 33-12 record in NCAA Tournament games and ranks ninth all-time and fifth among active coaches with a 73.3 NCAA Tournament winning percentage. All of this for a program that had just four NCAA Tournament wins and had never reached a Sweet 16 prior to Walz being named head coach.

Walz is the all-time winningest coach in program history with a record of 410-112 and averages 27.3 victories per season. He directed Louisville to a program-record 36 victories in 2017-18 en route to being named ACC Coach of the Year, 34 victories in 2008-09, 33 wins in 2013-14 and 32 wins in 2018-19.

The Cardinals have reached 20 wins 12 consecutive times and they have won at least 20 games in 14 of Walz’s 15 seasons. The longest run previously was three, achieved twice, and UofL had just 10 20-win seasons in its 32 previous years. Louisville has won at least 25 games in 10 straight seasons.

Walz led Louisville to four consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference regular season titles in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, and over that four-year span, the Cardinals were a combined 122-15, which marked the fewest losses and best winning percentage over a four-year period in program history.

After being hired as the Cardinals’ head coach on March 27, 2007, the Bluegrass State native led Louisville to the program’s first NCAA Sweet 16. For his efforts, he was named the WBCA Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year.

Prior to taking the reins at Louisville, Walz spent five seasons at Maryland, including his final season as the associate head coach in 2006-07. The season prior, he helped lead the Terrapins to a school-record 34 wins and the program’s first national title.

His tenure in the collegiate ranks consists of stops previously at Minnesota, Nebraska, and Western Kentucky.

Walz received a basketball scholarship to Northern Kentucky, where he graduated from with a bachelor of science in secondary education in May of 1995. He earned his master’s degree in education in August of 1997 from Western Kentucky.

Walz has four children: daughter Kaeley, son Jacob, and daughters Lola and Lucy. He married the former Lauren Lueders in September of 2012, and the couple resides in Louisville.