Jurich talks about departure from UofL, his future

Jurich talks about departure from UofL, his future
Tom Jurich sat down to discuss his settlement with UofL, and his plans for the future with WAVE 3 News Anchor Scott Reynolds. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Former University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich was known for getting quick results. New playing facilities and coaching hires came quickly.

But now he's in no hurry.

After his departure from the Cards following 20 years at the helm, he's spent time at his homes in the Colorado mountains, and just recently three months in Florida.

"We're going to go forward, have fun and put it in God's hands," Jurich told WAVE 3 News Anchor Scott Reynolds in a one-on-one interview Thursday.

When it came to his settlement with UofL, he put it in the hands of his attorneys with Frost Brown Todd in Louisville. That settlement not only gave Jurich around $7 million in compensation, it changed his departure from "fired with cause" to "retired."

Jurich told Reynolds he never worried about the scathing comments from interim UofL President Dr. Greg Postel.

"We certainly never agreed with him," Jurich said. "That's why we hired the firm of Frost Brown Todd and I think it all came out -- the truth -- in the end."

Now that critical letter has been removed from Jurich's file.

Jurich said he doesn't regret sticking with Coach Rick Pitino after several scandals, including the sexual tryst with Karen Sypher, the Katina Powell sex scandal involving players and recruits and an assistant coach, and the Adidas pay-for-play case regarding recruit Brian Bowen.

Reynolds asked Jurich if, in hindsight, he was too loyal.

"I would never apologize for being loyal. That's who I am," he said. "Now I'm not blindly stupid either. If I knew there were issues I would deal with them. And if people weren't forthcoming with me, I would've dealt with them on the spot. All my coaches knew that, coach Pitino knew that."

Part of the settlement gives Jurich eight tickets for the next 20 years to Cards basketball and football games. But don't expect to see him in the stands. Jurich's daughter Lacey and sons Brian and Mark have made Louisville home.

"I want to make sure they are for the kids," Jurich said. "You want them to enjoy because they love it. They all graduated from UofL and I want them to support their programs."

Jurich said the contentious departure from UofL hasn't impacted his ability to get a job.

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"Most people know who I am as a person, how I've done business for 32 years," he said. "We've talked to a lot of people around the country. There's a lot of opportunities, a lot of fun things we can do. Do I want to get back on a campus? We'll see, it's gotta be the right one."

Two decades of memories came rushing back when Jurich arrived in Louisville this week for a weekend wedding.

"Support has been overwhelming," he said. "You know, I've always said it in my 20 years here, this is the greatest fan base in America and these fans built these programs."

Jurich said no community has shown so much support for the entire athletic department.

"They didn't give just to one or two sports, they gave to 23," he said.

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