LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — University of Louisville women’s basketball fans no longer have to flinch every time they look at social media.
Jeff Walz told me Thursday night that he will be staying in Louisville to coach next season's loaded Cardinals' team, which is expected to be ranked among the top five teams in the nation.
Stop the speculation that Walz is bound for Mississippi State to replace Vic Schaefer. A source confirmed that State did talk to Walz about the opening that was created when Schaefer left for Texas last week.
After I spoke to Walz, it was reported by multiple outlets that MSU hired Nikki McCray-Pinson, the coach at Old Dominion.
There were unconfirmed reports from Mississippi that the program was ready to pay Schaefer’s replacement as much as $2 million per season. That might be accurate, but the coach will not be Walz.
“I was never going anywhere,” Walz said. “I’ve been working harder than I’ve ever worked trying to build the best team we’ve ever had at Louisville. Our staff has been recruiting like crazy."
In 13 seasons Walz has had some great teams — three that went to the Final Four as well as the 2020 squad that won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title before the its chance to compete in the NCAA Tournament was canceled.
Walz, 48, has won nearly 78 percent of his games while building the U of L program into one of the top five in the nation.
He has worked tirelessly to build and promote the program with superb players like Angel McCoughtry, Asia Durr and Shoni Schimmel. Louisville has appeared in nine consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The Cardinals averaged 8,548 fans for 15 home games this season while unseating Notre Dame atop the ACC.
The Cards will return three starters, including national player of the year candidate Dana Evans, while adding a top-10 recruiting class that features a pair of McDonald's all-Americans and several top transfers.
“We should be really good,” Walz said. “I’m super excited."
Walz said that on Thursday afternoon he worked on refreshing the mulch in the landscaping in his home in Eastern Jefferson County.
In June 2018, Walz signed a contract extension through the 2024-25 season, worth about $1.475 million per season. Like other head coaches at U of L, Walz has agreed to a 10% cut in compensation for next season to help the athletic program deal with financial uncertainty from the novel coronavirus outbreak.
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