AL HANGS UP THE TROMBONE, GIVES THE FINGERS A REST.
We shift our attention and focus away from the student-athletes and coaches and look towards a person who has been heavily involved in UofL athletics for many years.
Over the weekend, Al Greener announced his retirement as director of the UofL pep band and Jim Patterson Stadium organist.
Al has been a longtime supporter of Cardinal Couple, UofL women's athletics, and often engaged in conversation with Paulie, Sonya and myself at many different games. Al was also the creator of the Cardinals fight song "All Hail, UofL".
Per a post on Facebook, Al spent the last 14 seasons with the UofL pep band, where the band performed at 1618 events throughout 22 states. That averages out to almost 166 events per year and that's with the band not having anything throughout the summer- impressive!
I spent a few years as a member of the pep band and contributed to at least a couple hundred of those games including the Lynn Stadium opener and the women's basketball national championship in New Orleans in 2013 as well as filling in as the honorary Oregon and UCLA bands.
Al Greener has seen plenty of changes at UofL during his time. He started under Tom Jurich and saw Vince Tyra come in. He saw women's basketball move Freedom Hall and eventually make their way to the KFC Yum! Center. He saw volleyball move from Cardinal Arena to the KFC Yum! Center and then back to Cardinal Arena, now renamed L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. He saw women's soccer transition from Cardinal Park to Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. He has seen new head coaches arrive such as Jeff Walz, Justine Sowry, Dani Busboom Kelly, Scott Teeter, Holly Aprile, and Whitney Young.
Although a majority of the pep band events were held here in Louisville, KY, we have seen the pep band represented all over the country as far south as Florida, as far north as New York, and as far west as Washington. The pep band was known for their clever cheers and chants during basketball season and were often heard on the tv during the women's basketball conference tournaments and NCAA Tournament.
The Pep b7Band has been under the control of UofL athletics since the hiring of Al Greener. However, UofL's School of Music will be taking over, moving forward, and will presumably be led by the marching band directors. The marching band has been under the control of the School of Music since Al Greener was hired on to lead the pep band.
We are uncertain what led to the change of control with the pep band or if it was a factor in the decision of Al's retirement, but we wish him a happy retirement! Hopefully he'll get a chance to head up to Wrigley Field to catch a few Cubs games.
The pep band is still expected to perform at events outside of men's and women's basketball so we expect to see the band back at volleyball, field hockey, soccer, and lacrosse next season.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!