Oct. 4, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich will be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame on Wednesday, Oct. 11 at the Galt House East Grand Ballroom.
A reception and silent auction begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner and program to follow at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person or $600 for a table of eight and may be obtained by calling (502) 637-7696. Proceeds benefit Kosair Charities.
Jurich is among a stellar 2006 induction class which also includes Doug Flynn, a member of the Cincinnati Reds' 1975-76 world championship teams who played 10 years as an infielder in the major leagues; Jenny Hansen, a 13-time All-America gymnast at the University of Kentucky; Clemette Haskins, a three-time All-America basketball player at Western Kentucky; Hillerich & Bradsby, the company that made the city of Louisville synonymous with excellence in sporting equipment through its production of "Louisville Sluggers"; Allan Houston, who led Ballard to a state basketball championship and went on to become an NBA All-Star; Pat Riley, a former University of Kentucky basketball star who is a current successful coach in the NBA; and Bob Schneider, the winningest coach in Kentucky high school football history from Newport Central Catholic.
From facilities to gender equity, from community involvement to national leadership, Jurich's leadership has brought about an incredible rise in the Cardinals' athletic program in a very short time. In his ninth year at U of L, Jurich continues to push U of L to the forefront of college athletics, turning heads while quickly guiding major changes in the face of Cardinal Athletics including:
- Engineering U of L's historic move to the Big East Conference, which has a long-term relationship with the lucrative Bowl Championship Series. This is the Cards' second year in the league.
- Attracting sixth-year men's basketball coach Rick Pitino to U of L, a move many deemed impossible. Pitino's arrival has energized the Cards' tradition-rich program and quickly restored it to a position among the nation's top teams. U of L capped a 33-5 record in 2004-05 by returning to the Final Four for the first time in 19 years.
- Taking a major step in achieving gender equity, upgrading funding and support staff for existing women's programs while adding four new sports -- softball, golf, rowing and lacrosse (in 2008). Jurich's efforts also moved field hockey, women's soccer and baseball to fully-funded programs. He received the Citizens for Sports Equity 2000 Sports Leadership Award and was honored as the Louisvillian of the Year in 2005 by the Louisville Urban League Guild.
- Hiring football coach Bobby Petrino. Petrino is the architect of four different teams which led the nation in total offense. He quickly molded U of L into a national force, achieving top 20 national rankings in each of the last three years.
- Addressing multiple facility needs, including an extensive sports park to serve as a front lawn for the University. Owsley B. Frazier Cardinal Park features Ulmer Stadium (softball), Trager Stadium (field hockey artificial surface field),a soccer field surrounded by a state-of-the-art track, fitness trail, outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts and a playground. Three new facilities opened in 2005: Jim Patterson Stadium(baseball), Ralph Wright Natatorium and the Trager Center indoor fieldhouse.
- Strengthening U of L's athletic administration by enlarging the compliance department with the school's first associate athletic director for compliance and adding the school's first female associate athletic director/senior woman administrator.
- Placing U of L on the cutting edge of sports medicine with a comprehensive partnership with Louisville's world-renowned Jewish Hospital.
- Bolstering the community outreach arm of U of L athletics, developing CardsCare and CardsFIT to promote student-athlete community involvement.
- Academic success has risen dramatically during Jurich's watch as well. Honorees on the Commissioner's Honor Roll (cumulative 3.0 GPA or better) rose from 44 in 1996 to 164 in 2005. Those earning recognition on the U of L Athletic Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or better grade point average for a semester) increased to 288 for the 2008 fall semester, a figure which represents half of the total students involved in U of L Athletics.
Jurich has been active in the scope of college athletics on a national level, within conference issues, and in his local community. He served three years as a member of the NCAA Management Council, one of the top legislative bodies of the NCAA, and the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee. He sits on the Board of Directors for Republic Bank, Willpower Foundation and American Heart Association.
Jurich recently received the Louisvillian of the Year Award by the Louisville Ad Club and the Dan Mangeot Memorial Award, for contributions to the advancement of tourism and hospitality.