|University||University of Louisville|
|Conference||Atlantic Coast Conference|
|NCAA||Division I (FBS)|
|Athletic director||Vince Tyra|
|Football stadium||Cardinal Stadium|
|Basketball arena||KFC Yum! Center|
|Baseball stadium||Jim Patterson Stadium|
|Soccer stadium||Lynn Stadium|
|Mascot||Louie the Cardinal|
|Fight song||"Fight! U of L"|
|Colors||Red and black|
The Louisville Cardinals (also known as the Cards) are the NCAA athletic teams representing the University of Louisville. The Cardinals teams play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, beginning in the 2014 season. While playing in the Big East Conference from 2005 through 2013, the Cardinals captured 17 regular season Big East titles and 33 Big East Tournament titles totaling 50 Big East Championships across all sports. With their 2013 Sugar Bowl appearance against the Florida Gators, the Cardinals football team became the only football team in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to have appeared in and won two Bowl Championship Series bowls, having defeated Wake Forest 24-13 in the 2007 Orange Bowl and Florida 33-23 in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. On November 28, 2012, Louisville received and accepted an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and became a participating member in all sports in 2014. In 2016, Lamar Jackson won the school its first Heisman Trophy. Their fan base is referred to as "Card Nation." Their fans are known to appear in large numbers at away venues causing red adorned fans to be seen across visiting stadiums. This has become known as the "red mist."
Since 2000 Louisville is the only NCAA team to win a BCS bowl game; to appear in the NCAA Division I men's basketball Final Four, the College World Series, and the NCAA Division I women's basketball Final Four; and to finish as runner-up in the Men's soccer College Cup. It is one of only six schools that has appeared more than once in each of the following events--a BCS bowl game, the men's and women's basketball Final Fours, and the College World Series--and Louisville's span of seven school years (2006-07 to 2012-13) is the shortest among these schools. Also, it is the first school ever to win a BCS bowl game, appear in the men's and women's basketball Final Fours, and appear in the College World Series in the same school year, doing so in 2012-13.
The Cardinals have seen substantial athletic and institutional growth, spending more than $150 million for sporting facility upgrades while maintaining strong fan support and Title IX compliance. U of L currently fields 13 women's teams and 10 men's teams. The total sales of U of L merchandise, tripling since 2001, now rank 32nd nationally.
|Men's sports||Women's sports|
|Cross country||Field hockey|
|Swimming & diving||Soccer|
|Track and field+||Swimming & diving|
|Track and field+|
|+ - Track and field includes both indoor and outdoor.|
In 2007, the Cardinals finished the season with a 47-24 record and ranked as high as 6th in some major polls while advancing to the College World Series for the first time in school history.
|1980, 1986, 2013*|
|Final Four Years|
|1959, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1982|
|1983, 1986, 2005, 2012*, 2013*|
UofL's basketball tradition was established by Muhlenberg County native, Coach Bernard "Peck" Hickman. The Cards never had a losing season in Hickman's 23 years, prior to his arrival the team had only had 11 winning seasons. In 1956, Hickman's team won the NIT, then considered a national championship on a par with the NCAA tournament. After retiring, Hickman became the school's Athletics Director and hired then John Wooden assistant and future Hall of Famer Denny Crum, who led the team to two NCAA Division I basketball championships (1980 and 1986) and six Final Fours. The men's basketball team currently ranks fifth in all-time NCAA Tournament wins and has been in the top-five in average attendance each year since the 1982-83 season. Perennial rivals include the University of Kentucky, University of Cincinnati, and the University of Memphis.
The team was established in 1975.
The cheerleading squads have won multiple championships with the large co-ed squad winning 18 National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate National championships (1985-86, 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998-99, 2003-09, 2011, 2016, 2018), the all-female squad winning 15 championships (2001-05, 2007-09, 2011-12, 2015-19) and the small co-ed cheerleading squad winning 10 championships (2005-06, 2008-09, 2011, 2013-17). The University of Louisville Spirit Groups hold more national titles than any other sport offered at the university.
The Cardinal Bird Mascot also falls under the jurisdiction of the University of Louisville Spirit Groups. The "Bird" also competes with the cheerleaders in national competitions and makes regular appearances in the Louisville Metro Area.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2008)
The UofL women's field hockey team received the NFHCA Division I National Academic Team Award for their 3.65 GPA, which was the highest in the nation. The team also won two MAC tourney titles in 2003 and 2004 and finished one game back in their first Big East season. Between 2015 and 2017 Ayeisha McFerran was named three times as an NFHCA All-American while playing for the women's field hockey team. She was also a member of the Ireland team that played in the 2018 Women's Hockey World Cup final and was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
|Football All-Time Bowl Appearances|
|1958 - Sun Bowl|
|1970 - Pasadena Bowl|
|1977 - Independence Bowl|
|1991 - Sunkist Fiesta Bowl|
|1993 - St. Jude Liberty Bowl|
|1998 - Motor City Bowl|
|1999 - Humanitarian Bowl|
|2000 - AXA Liberty Bowl|
|2001 - AXA Liberty Bowl|
|2002 - GMAC Bowl|
|2003 - GMAC Bowl|
|2004 - AutoZone Liberty Bowl|
|2005 - Toyota Gator Bowl|
|2006 - FedEx Orange Bowl|
|2010 - Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl|
|2011 - Belk Bowl|
|2012 - Allstate Sugar Bowl|
|2013 - 2013 Russell Athletic Bowl|
|2014 - 2014 Belk Bowl|
|2015 - 2015 Music City Bowl|
|2016 - 2016 Citrus Bowl|
|2017 - 2017 TaxSlayer Bowl|
|2019 - 2019 Music City Bowl|
Under the guidance of head coaches John L. Smith (1998-2002) and Bobby Petrino (2003-2007), the Louisville football program went to nine consecutive bowl games, a streak that ended in the 2007 season. After a three-year hiatus under Coach Kragthorpe from 2007 to 2009 Louisville has been to eight consecutive bowl games under Coaches Charlie Strong and Bobby Petrino.
Under Coach Petrino, the Cardinals were ranked in all but three of the weekly AP polls since the beginning of the 2004 season. This includes a #6 final finish in both 2004 and 2006, as well as a #19 final finish in 2005.
In the 2004 season, the Cardinals went 11-1 and won the Conference USA Championship; their only loss was against third-ranked Miami, a game in which the Cardinals led by 17 in the third quarter before falling. The Cardinals went to the Liberty Bowl, where they defeated #10-ranked and previously-undefeated Boise State.
In 2006, the Cardinals began the season ranked #13 in the AP poll and finished the season with a 12-1 record, their first Big East Conference title and completed the season with a 24-13 victory over the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. The Cards finished the 2006 season ranked #6 in the AP Poll and #7 in the Coaches Poll, while being ranked #6 in the Bowl Championship Series Poll.
On January 9, 2007, Steve Kragthorpe was introduced as the new head coach of the Cardinals, within 48 hours after Bobby Petrino announced his departure to take the head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League. The Cardinals went 6-6 in Kragthorpe's first season and the second season 5-7. He was fired after his third season (2009) ended with a disappointing 4-8 record. Kragthorpe's replacement is Charlie Strong, formerly the defensive coordinator at Florida, and the second African American to head the Cardinals program.
None of the football program's recent success would have been possible without the vision and efforts of former Kentucky All-American and national champion coach (at the University of Miami) Howard Schnellenberger, who was the head coach from 1985 to 1994. His greatest achievement at U of L was a 34-7 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl (Alabama finished 7-5), which culminated in U of L's first national ranking (11th) and a 10-1-1 record.
The University of Louisville football program's home is Cardinal Stadium.
The UofL football program annually plays for the Governor's Cup (awarded to the winner of the Louisville-Kentucky football game) and The Keg of Nails (awarded to the winner of the annual Louisville-Cincinnati football game).
The film The Replacements was rumored to be based on former Cardinal quarterback Ed Rubbert (played by Keanu Reeves), who led the Washington Redskins' 1987 strike team to a 3-0 record en route to the franchise's Super Bowl XXII championship.
Louisville Finishes Historic Season as NCAA Runner-Up
The top-ranked Louisville men's soccer team fell 1-0 to Akron in the 2010 NCAA national championship game in front of 9,672 in Santa Barbara, Calif. The Cardinals, who appeared in the College Cup for the first time in program history, finished the season with a 20-1-3 overall record. Prior to reaching the NCAA Tournament, Louisville won the BIG EAST Red Division regular-season title and captured the BIG EAST Tournament title.
On February 21, 2013, U of L announced that it would build a new soccer-only stadium on campus. The new stadium, with a capacity of 5,300, is set to open for the 2014 season, and will be known as Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, after the married couple who donated $5 million toward the $17.5 million project.
Volleyball has traditionally been one of UofL's most successful programs, led for 15 years by head coach Leonid Yelin, whose .772 career winning percentage ranked 9th among active coaches prior to his retirement after the 2010 season. He was replaced by former U of L player Anne Kordes, who had spent the previous seven seasons as head coach at Saint Louis. During the 2005 season, UofL was ranked as high as #6 en route to a 30-3 record, a regular season tie for the Big East title, and a second straight trip to the Sweet 16. In the most recent 2012 season, the team averaged 2,341 fans while playing mainly at the KFC Yum! Center. Their traditional home of Cardinal Arena, with 840 seats, has become too small for the team's current popularity, with fans turned away at several games. While U of L has sought state funding to expand Cardinal Arena to better meet fan demands and prevent unsafe "standing room only" crowds, it has more recently opted to move full-time into the KFC Yum! Center; of its 19 home matches in the 2012 season, 15 were scheduled for that facility. U of L also hosted both the 2005 Big East Volleyball tournament and the first two rounds of NCAA volleyball tournament at the Kentucky International Expo Center in Downtown Louisville, and hosted the Women's Final Four in 2012 at the KFC Yum! Center.
In 2005, two Cardinals, seniors Lena Ustymenko and Jennifer Hoffman, were named second team All-American. Previously only one Big East volleyball player had been named an All-American. Ustymenko was also named the 2005 Big East player of the year and Hoffman led the nation in hitting percentage in the Card's 6-2 offense. The program has won 15 of its last 16 conference titles (with another in 1983) and has been to the NCAA tourney 17 times since 1982, with 47 players making their all-conference team. The team has a 157-19 all-time record at Cardinal Arena, and is 17-6 at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Cardinal volleyball team has won conference championships 19 times, from Metro, C-USA, Big East, American Athletic, and ACC.
Most recently, after the Cardinals joined the ACC in 2014, the Cardinals won the 2015 ACC title, the first ACC crown ever won by any Louisville team. Senior setter Katie George, also notable as that year's Miss Kentucky USA, was named ACC Player of the Year and Setter of the Year. In addition, Kordes was named Coach of the Year, and libero Molly Sauer was named Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
The Cardinal volleyball team moved back into the newly expanded Cardinal Arena in 2017.
The University of Louisville Ladybirds dance team has won 20 national titles. The Ladybirds have won nine of the last ten national competitions, including the last four years, in the National Cheerleading Association Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla. The Ladybirds also added the 2014, 2016, 2017 Hip Hop national title to their trophy case. In the years 2016-18 the Ladybirds won a double title, placing first in both the team performance and hip hop categories. UofL won the Universal Dance Association title in 1995 and 1997. The Ladybirds have long been successful, placing in the top five in their national competition 21 of the last 27 years. The group is under the direction of Sheryl Knight.
Louisville has won 2 NCAA team national championships.
The University of Louisville Ice Hockey team was founded in 1995. The University of Louisville Hockey team is a club sport, participating in the Southeast Conference in Division II of the American Collegiate Hockey Association and also the TSCHL. Louisville has 3 back to back TSCHL championships in 2015, 2016, and 2017. They also have 2 ACHA Southeast Regional Appearances (2016, 2017). Recent success can be contributed to recent additions such as coach Brian Graham, who is a two time TSCHL Coach of the Year (2015, 2016), and captain Yannis Soukas, who is the Cardinals' all-time leader in points, winner of the 2016 TSCHL MVP Award, 2016 TSCHL Rookie of the Year Award, and was named to the 1st team All-Conference in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The University of Louisville Rugby Club was re-founded in 2009, and was promoted to Division II of college rugby in 2011. Louisville Rugby is led by head coach Eric Raney. Louisville Rugby has an active recruiting program, yielding recruits from Kentucky high school rugby all stars. Louisville offers scholarships and grants, funded by the Louisville Rugby Old Boys' Association, to incoming rugby recruits.
The University of Louisville has risen from 174th in the Director's Cup standings in 1999-2000 to 28th in 2006-07. U of L finished the 2015-16 year ranked 29th in the NACDA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup.
|UofL Team||All-Time Record||Winning Percent|
|*As of June 26, 2017.|
|Cardinal Stadium||Football||61,800 (55,000, 2010-2018) (42,000, 1998-2010)||1998-present|
|KFC Yum! Center||Men and Women's Basketball||22,090||2010-present|
|Jim Patterson Stadium||Baseball||4,000 (2,500, 2006-2012)||2005-present|
|Cardinal Park Soccer and Track Stadium||Soccer and Track & Field teams through 2013-14 school year; track and field only since fall 2014||2,200||2000-present (track)|
|Cardinal Arena||Women's volleyball home, Women's Basketball practice facilities||840||1992-present|
|Ralph Wright Natatorium||Swimming||800||2005-present|
|Trager Stadium||Field Hockey||1500||2000-present|
|Bass-Rudd Tennis Center||Tennis||400||1994-present|
|Lacrosse Field||Women's Lacrosse||300||2006-present|
|Trager Center||Football indoor practice facility||2006-present|
|The Yum! Center||Men's Basketball/Women's Volleyball practice facilities||2007-present|
|Marshall Center||Soccer/Track/Field Hockey strength and conditioning||2008-present|
|Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium||Soccer||5,300||2014-present|
|Men's Basketball||Not yet released||21,571||21,503||21,832||19,397|
|Women's Basketball||Not yet released||9,358||10,670||10,859||6,398|
|Volleyball||Not yet released||2,341||1,527|
|Men's Soccer||Not yet released||2,215||3,548||2,768||1,300|
|Baseball||Not yet released||Not yet released||1,528||1,940|
|Softball||Not yet released||511||441|
|Women's Soccer||Not yet released||949||625||712|
|Field Hockey||Not yet released||370||294||435||282|
|Team||National Attendance Rank|
|Men's basketball||3rd (2016-17)|
|Women's basketball||3rd (2012-13)|
|Women's field hockey||5th (2012)|
|Men's soccer||7th (2012)|
|Women's soccer||22nd (2012)|
Attendance ranks are based on average per home game.
The broadcast team for Louisville men's basketball is Paul Rogers (play-by-play) and Bob Valvano or Doug Ormay (color analyst). The broadcast team for Louisville football is Paul Rogers (play-by-play); Craig Swabek (color analyst) and Doug Ormay (sideline reporter).
U of L games are broadcast in Lexington KY on WWRW 105.5 FM and WKRD 790 AM & 101.7- Louisville, KY (Flagship Station)
For Women's basketball, Women's Play by play is provided by Jim Kelch, with Adrienne Johnson as the color analyst. All Women's Basketball games are heard on WKRD 790 AM or on FM 101.7 in Louisville.
SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Nelligan Sports Marketing, the University of Louisville and CSTV: College Sports Television announced an agreement on January 10, 2005, making SIRIUS the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the University of Louisville. SIRIUS will broadcast select play-by-play sports of Louisville's nationally ranked college basketball and football teams
The Louisville Cardinals rivalry with the Kentucky Wildcats is widely considered one of the most intense college rivalries in the United States. It is also one of the few rivalries to be equally intense in basketball and football, and practically every other sport as well. The men's basketball game is called the Battle for the Bluegrass; the football game is officially called the Governor's Cup.
In the early years after the rivalry resumed whoever would win the football game would go on to lose the basketball game. In 2003 Louisville broke that tradition by winning both the football and basketball game and did so again in 2012. Kentucky has completed the double four times, in the 2009, 2011, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Unlike many in-state rivalries that have been played continuously for many decades, these two schools went through a long period from the 1930s to the 1980s of rarely facing each other. They did play frequently from the 1900s to the 1920s. Since the renewal of the men's basketball rivalry in 1983-84 UK leads the modern rivalry 28-13 and the all-time series 37-16. Since the two teams resumed playing football in 1994, U of L leads the modern series 15-11 but the all-time series is led by UK at 17-15.
Within the intrastate rivalry with the Kentucky Wildcats, the team that has won the football game has lost the following basketball game every year, except in 2003 and 2012 (when UofL won both) and 2009, 2011, 2018 and 2019 (when UK won both).
Known more for an intense basketball rivalry and tradition, U of L and UC have a football rivalry that has stretched over the span of four conferences from the Missouri Valley Conference, to the Metro Conference to Conference USA, and more recently in the Big East Conference, which in 2013 was renamed to the American Athletic Conference. It is believed to be the oldest rivalry for the Louisville football team and the second oldest for Cincinnati, only behind the annual game with the Miami RedHawks.
On the gridiron, the two teams compete for the Keg of Nails Trophy, though the series has been on hiatus since 2013. The Bearcats lead the series 30-22-1.
Since joining the ACC in 2014, the Cardinals have been part of a budding rivalry with Virginia. Both teams have found themselves at or near the top of the conference standings in many sports, including baseball, basketball, and soccer. Given that UL was designated as Maryland's replacement as UVA's crossover rival, the teams play annually in football (despite being in different divisions), twice a year in basketball, and once a year in baseball. On the basketball court, both teams have Elite 8 appearances since Louisville joined the ACC and both baseball programs have multiple College World Series appearances (with UVA claiming the title in 2015). The football teams have taken part in some great matchups since realignment as well, with 3 of the 4 games being decided by single digits.
Virginia leads the all-time men's basketball series 10-4 while Louisville leads the football series 4-2.