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Tom Jurich Launches 'Wide Open' Search For New Louisville Cardinals Football Coach

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University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich says he’ll work as quickly as possible to find a replacement for outgoing football coach Charlie Strong.Strong is leaving U of L after four seasons tobecome the head coach at Texas.Without mentioning names,  Jurich said Sunday he has a short list of candidates in mind, but the search is “wide open.”"I’m a big person that believes in fit.   So I want somebody that fits here.   You always say you want somebody who wants to be here.   Does that mean five minutes, five years ,  five days?  I want somebody who will look at this job now as a true destination job,” he said. U of L will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season and Jurich says he wants a new coach in place as soon as possible for the transition.Some speculated candidates include U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, former U of L coach Bobby Petrino and Arizona’s Rich Rodriquez.Jurich says he and Strong had a face-to-face meeting Saturday night.   He thanked the coach for rebuilding the Cardinals football program on and off the field, and says he respects his decision.  “I understand it.  It was a dream of his and he’s certainly earned it, and I wish him nothing but the best.  I will always consider him a very, very close friend.”Strong compiled a 37-15 record in his four seasons at U of L, taking the Cards to bowl games each year.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.