University of Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich reportedly has been fired today after coming under fire after allegations have come in that the program and an Adidas executive allegedly paid an incoming recruit $100,000 in exchange for his commitment.
Jurich has been serving as Louisville’s director of athletics since 1997 and has made dramatic progress with the school’s standing since his arrival. The biggest mark Jurich has left on the school is its move into the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.
Jurich met with U of L interim president Greg Postel Wednesday morning and was asked to resign. When he refused, Jurich was told that he was being relieved of his duties.
However, there have been conflicting reports on whether Jurich was let go. As it turns out, both Pitino and Jurich have been placed on administrative leave for the time being, according to WDRB.
The men’s basketball, football, baseball and many more programs have all seen great success under Jurich. Louisville will have some big shoes to fill.
Here’s what you need to know about Tom Jurich.
1. Louisville Joined the ACC Under Jurich’s Watch in 2014
Out of all of Jurich’s accomplishments, the acceptance of Louisville into the ACC is considered the biggest one. The Cardinals took Maryland’s place in the ACC after they left for the Big 10.
At the time, ACC commissioner John Swofford said Louisville was the best fit for the league after Maryland’s departure, according to an ESPN report.
“When you look at Louisville, you see a university and an athletic program that has all the arrows pointed up — a tremendous uptick there, tremendous energy,” Swofford said on a teleconference. “It’s always an overall fit in every respect and I think that’s what we found.”
The ACC considered adding Connecticut and Cincinnati too but decided on only Louisville and thought the school was the best choice because of its “aggressive approach” to success according to the same ESPN report.
“I’m very excited to join this prestigious conference,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said. “For the ACC to have faith in us means the world to us athletically and academically. The biggest winner is our school being associated with all of the prestigious schools.
The move comes after Louisville spent eight years in the Big East from 2005 to 2013.
2. Jurich Was Signed Through 2023 With Louisville
Jurich joined the Louisville Cardinals in 1997 and has been with them for 20 years if he makes it to October 21. According to his staff page on Louisville’s website, Jurich’s contract has been extended through 2023 to help keep the upward trend of the school going.
Jurich’s achievements were recognized nationally in 2007 when he was named Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal/Sport Business Daily Athletic Director of the Year. In 2013, he became the award’s first two-time finalist.
The contract extension was first announced in 2006.
University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich received a salary increase and a contract extension from the U of L Athletic Association Board of Directors Friday.
His base salary rises from $364,508 to $440,008, and his annual deferred compensation increases by $15,000 a year.
In addition, the board extended the rollover clause in his contract by two years. Under the old deal, his contract ran through 2016 and was automatically renewed every year until the age of 65. That is now extended to 67.
The raise and extension were recommended by U of L President James Ramsey, who said several schools had expressed an interest in talking with Jurich in recent years.
“Having Tom stay at U of L has been a high priority of mine,” Ramsey said.
3. Jurich Told Boosters the School Has a $160M Deal With Adidas
In a move that probably didn’t raise many eyebrows then, Jurich told administrators and boosters that the school has a $160 million deal with Adidas, according to the Courier-Journal.
Louisville already had a deal with Adidas that was nearing the end of its contract. That agreement ran through the upcoming school year, with a one-year extension option, and was worth $39 million over five years. This new Adidas deal puts the University of Louisville near the top of collegiate athletics in sponsorship deals.
Jurich had a lot of positive things to say about Adidas in May 2016 after the news that UCLA announced its 15-year $280 million deal with Under Armour.
“Adidas has been terrific for us,” Jurich said to the Courier-Journal. “When we started here 19 years ago, nobody wanted us. Look how far we’ve come with them. … We’re very pleased where we’re at. I love what the new vision (at Adidas) is. I know Miami has bought into it. They’re doing fine with the schools they have.”
Jurich wasn’t bothered by schools leaving Adidas then and last month he said the school would be in a great position to renegotiate its contract with the apparel giant.
“We want to continue to grow our program, not to look at what other people are going to do for you,” Jurich told the Courier-Journal last May. “Let’s take care of our programs here. Much like getting us into the ACC, my goal was to build our program first so nobody could break it down. If we did that, the apparel companies would want us, and we’ve done that.”
4. Football & Men’s Basketball Have Both Grown Significantly Under Jurich’s Direction
While football and men’s basketball are in the limelight, many more sports have seen continued growth with Jurich as the athletics director.
Louisville’s football program has produced two BCS bowl wins – a win over third-ranked Florida in the 2013 AllState Sugar Bowl and a win over Wake Forest in the 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl. Current Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was an All-American and Heisman Trophy winner in 2016 as a sophomore.
Men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino won the school’s third NCAA title and has delivered three Final Four appearances during his tenure. Pitino joined the program in 2001 and is also looking at a potential ouster today.
The baseball team made has made three appearances in the College World Series under Jurich, while the softball program has advanced to 12 straight regionals. The men’s soccer team reached the national title game in 2010 and advanced to its third straight NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2012, while the women’s soccer program advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2011. The women’s volleyball program has made three Sweet 16 appearances and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament for 17 of the last 18 seasons according Jurich’s staff page.
Louisville’s 2012-13 “Year of the Cardinal” marked the first time a university has ever won a BCS level bowl game, place both its men’s and women’s basketball teams in the NCAA Final Four and reach the College World Series in the same season.
5. Jurich Attended Northern Arizona University, Is Married & Has 4 Kids
Jurich went to school at Northern Arizona University and spent eight years as an athletic director there before moving onto Colorado State University and then Louisville with the same position each time according to Sports Business Daily. During his education at Northern Arizona he obtained a marketing degree.
Jurich was a member of the Northern Arizona football team during his stay. He was a kicker, punter and backup quarterback for the team, according the same Sports Business Daily article. He was named a first-team Kodak All-America kicker in 1977. He was then drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and later spent time with the Minnesota Vikings.
Jurich has a wife, Terrilynn, and four kids including twin daughters Haley and Lacey. His two sons are Mark and Brian. Tom and Terrilynn have been married for over 25 years and can be seen by his side in many pictures.