LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The 4th-ranked Louisville women cruised to their fifth straight win of the season and into school history.
U of L (5-0) blasted Ohio University (2-1) 90-33, giving head coach Jeff Walz a school-record 153 wins.
"I just have to say thanks to all the players who have bought into what we're trying to do here and believed in me and believed in their teammates," said Walz, who is now in his seventh season at Louisville.
Walz worked his way from a Division 2 player to a coach receiving national attention year after year.
Walz said he played little during his time at Northern Kentucky, where he graduated in 1995, but sitting on the bench gave him the opportunity to watch and learn the game.
"Instead of pouting that I wasn't playing, I wanted to learn (the game)," he said.
Walz used that experience to his advantage, starting as an AAU basketball coach in 1996 to assisting Western Kentucky coach Paul Sanderford, who Walz calls a friend and mentor. Walz followed Sanderford to Nebraska, and then took an assistant position at Maryland. After five seasons there, he was hired as head coach at U of L in 2007.
Since then, Walz has guided the Louisville women's team to heights the school had known only by the men's program: two NCAA Sweet 16 and two NCAA runners-up spots, including last year's appearance in the NCAA championship, where the Cardinals were beaten 93-60 by UCONN.
Before Sunday's game against Florida State, the runner-up banner will be unveiled at the KFC Yum! Center.
"That's going to be awesome," said Walz of Sunday's banner ceremony. "Did we want to win the whole thing? Of course we did. But when we take a step back and look at what we accomplished, it's something to be proud of."
The game tips off at 2pm Sunday.
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