LACETT | Kentucky area football coaches remember Ali - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LACETT | Kentucky area football coaches remember Ali

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FRANKFORT, KY. (WDRB) – Muhammad Ali's impact on the sports world went well beyond the boxing ring.

At the annual Governor’s Cup luncheon in Frankfort, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino recalled the time he stood face to face with the greatest at the 2007 Orange Bowl.

“We've got Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali standing out there on the 50-yard line flipping a coin, and there's also a player from the Miami Heat out there," said Petrino. "I didn't really realize it until a year or two later when I looked at the picture that the player from the Miami Heat was Dwyane Wade.  That's how big Muhammad and Arnold Palmer are that we didn't even realize Dwyane Wade was the other guy out on the field with them."

Petrino said he grew up listening to Ali's fights on the radio, following him along throughout his entire career.

“I admire him on the fact he had strong beliefs. And not everyone agreed with him but everyone loved him.”

WKU head coach Jeff Brohm was also at that Orange Bowl, working as an assistant head coach at Louisville. He said it was a thrill to meet someone who has had such an influence on the world.

“Without question,” said Brohm. “Just a remarkable man and one of the greatest athletes of all time.”

Former Louisville coach John L Smith also expressed his admiration for Ali, jokingly at the expense of the media.

“He was the best,” said Smith. All you guys (the media) talk and that’s all you do. Ali talked and backed it up.”

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