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Saturday, July 29, 2023


It's not often we get so much coaching news so close to the start of fall seasons, but the news firehose continues. With teams returning to the playing surface next month, we'll have more to talk about than news and notes, so stick with us for just a couple more weeks.

T&F Returns Familiar Face

Joe Franklin continues building out his new track and field coaching staff. For the pole vaulters, it will be a bit of "meet the new boss; same as the old boss." The university announced the addition of Brooke Rasnick to the new coaching staff, where she will fill a position she previously held for nine years with UofL. Rasnick will be an assistant coach specializing in pole vault. She departed Louisville after a stint in the same role from 2013-2022 to focus on a company she founded, Elevate Athletic Recruiting, to provide consultation and coaching to parents and athletes working to navigate the world of collegiate track and field recruiting. She also served as a private pole vaulting coach in the Louisville area.

Rasnick's headshot from 
EAR website
Rasnick's return comes with a hefty amount of accomplishments, as you may recall pole vaulting being a position of strength for the Cards in recent years. Under Rasnick, Louisville pole vaulting brought in an individual national title, 12 NCAA All-American performances, five individual ACC Championships, 52 All-ACC performances, and eight school records. The driver of much of that success was Gabriela Leon who made Rasnick one of just two female coaches to lead a pole vaulter to a Division I national title when she won it in 2022. 

Prior to her first stint in Louisville, Rasnick coached at Kent State University from 2010-2013, leading the pole vaulting squad to five MAC titles and 13 All-MAC performances. Her first year as a coach was with Oregon, where she assisted a pole vaulter to a pair of All-American honors and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Rasnick was an accomplished athlete herself, making it to the NCAA preliminaries all four years at Wichita State and qualifying for the NCAA Championships twice. She was a seven-time All-MVC honoree.

It's not often you get to call an assistant coach a home run hire, but I think if anyone would qualify, it would be Brooke Rasnick. We're looking forward to her guidance keeping Louisville in the upper echelon of an exciting event.

Field Hockey Promotes Bell

The other coaching news is a call coming from inside the house as well. This one is a promotion rather than a return, as Justine Sowry has announced the promotion of Debbie Bell from field hockey's director of operations role to that of Assistant Coach/Operations Coordinator. As the name implies, Bell will still be responsible for many of her previous duties as DO, working as the game day operations liaison and coordinating day-to-day management of the program. Her role will expand on the coaching side, as she focuses on the goalkeepers and game day preparation, as well as guiding the overall leadership development of the field hockey players.

Bell served as the DO for six years prior to this promotion. Before coming to Louisville, Bell was an assistant at Columbia University for two years, a position she took on after serving as an assistant at Manhattanville College for two years. She has worked with the USA Field Hockey Futures Program since 2009 and previously held coaching roles with Rye High School, Bates College, and (to bring today's column full circle) Kent State.

Congratulations to Debbie and we look forward to seeing her in a more active role on the sideline.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We're without Jeff this week, so we won't be able to bring you the show live, but the podcast goes on, nonetheless. We'll have everyone else back, including the returns of Jared and Daryl, so it should be an exciting show. We're just over a week away from Louisville returning to the field with a women's soccer exhibition. Despite not being able to tune in live, you can check out the podcast around 1PM, or whenever it pushes to your player of choice, by hitting the links below. This week's episode won't be posted to YouTube, but you can listen back to past episodes any time.

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


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