Jan. 3, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino met with members of the media on Monday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. U of L closed out the 2004 season with a 44-40 win over previously unbeaten Boise State on Dec. 31 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
The Cardinals finished the season 11-1 overall, 8-0 in Conference USA play and won their third C-USA title in five years. The 2004 season marks U of L's final campaign in C-USA as the school is set to join the Big East Conference in 2005. The Cards also entered the bowl game ranked No. 7 nationally, the school's highest ranking ever.
Head Coach Bobby ~nbsp>Petrino discusses the Cards' 2004 season and previews recruiting and preparation for the 2005 season in the Big East.
University of Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino
Comments related to his meeting with LSU officials
"First of all, let me say I'd like to apologize for the uproar that I caused for the fans and the administration last week. That was certainly not my intent when I agreed to meet on Sunday (Dec. 26) morning with the officials from LSU. I was really trying to make sure a situation did not happen similar to the one that transpired in 2002 at the GMAC Bowl (involving former U of L head coach John L. ~nbsp>Smith). It was my intent to meet with them, get it behind us so that we could get back to the game and prepare my team like we had all year long. Obviously, if I had things to do over again, I wouldn't have done it that way, but that was my thoughts and my intent."
"I think we have the best fans in the country. Anytime you can have 30,000 people come out to your bowl game to support your players, your staff and your institution, I think that shows a lot. I'm so proud of our fans this year. We nearly sold out every game we had and I can't say enough about the support we've had all year long."
"What I have to do now is get back to work and get on the road and recruit. We need to sign the best group of recruits we can in February. I think I need to get back in here and get ready for spring ball and our staff will work extremely hard on that so that when we go into the Big East Conference, we get better and better than we were this year."
"I think I have to do some repair work (with the fans), there's no doubt about it. Because of the timing of the situation, I was obviously wrong. I can look at the results that our players have had this year and feel good. We were 11-1 and had probably the best season ever at the University of Louisville. We went 8-0 in conference, led the nation in total offense and scoring offense and our players had their best GPA ever a year ago. I really believe that we're developing young men the way we're supposed to."
"I really believe that this program (at Louisville) is one of the top 10 programs in the nation. We're probably going to end the season ranked sixth in the nation and our ambitions are to win a national championship and that's what we're working for. Today, we are now eligible to be in a BCS bowl game and I can't say enough about that and what Tom (Jurich, U of L athletic director) has done here in the transition and move to the Big East Conference. I'm extremely excited about the future we have ahead of us in the Big East and we have a great football team coming back. We graduate a great group of seniors that have provided a tremendous amount of leadership, but we have a lot of talent coming back, we have a great recruiting class and we're just looking forward to it."