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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL -- Jeff Walz exclusive Interview and Paulie's trip to the D.P.S. -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


I had the opportunity to interview Louisville women's head basketball coach Jeff Walz Monday afternoon in his new office at the YUM! Practice Facility on Floyd Street. Coach's office is on the south side of the second floor is where the Volleyball offices used to be. An extensive remodeling job has been done in the space...starting with the entrance to the offices...where a new, security code enabled, installed door awaits you at the top of the stairs. 

Fortunately, assistant sports information director for WBB Nick Evans had agreed to meet me in the first floor lobby to take me upstairs and was there to greet me when I arrived at the facility. We took the elevator to the second floor...but not before we ran into Asia Durr getting ready to leave the facility. It was great to see #25 and we chatted briefly before Nick and I went upstairs. 

One thing you notice when you enter the complex is that one of smiling Kate Tucker's work stations is located inside the door directly to your right. I chatted with Kate a few minutes while Nick went back to see if Coach was ready for our chat. Over her shoulder there is a large series of windows that allow you to see the practice court. As we talked, I was able to see Lindsay Duvall and another player I couldn't quite identify but I'm thinking it was Dana Evans practicing shooting. I noticed a lot of their long-range shots going in as I sat waiting for Coach. 

After my brief, amicable chat with both Nick and Kate, Coach Walz was ready to see me. There is a small greeting/reception area before you enter coach's office. His new digs are the furthest down the hall on the south side of the building and the office is directly across from Sam Purcell's office. His desk faces eastward and a series of comfy chairs are placed in front of his desk next to a large window that allows you to see the lacrosse field further south. I could see Kellie Young conducting practice with the "Laxers" and further in the distance Papa John's Cardinal Football Stadium and soccer's Lynn Stadium are readily visible. Coach warmly greeted me, he's looking to be in great shape and was wearing the customary day-old beard stubble we see on him most of the time. He's lucky...his isn't grey like mine yet. 

After exchanging a few pleasantries, Coach and I started the interview. If you have Soundcloud, you should be able to hear the entire interview that is linked at the bottom of the page. If not, you'll have to wait until Saturday's radio show...aptly named THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. Nick Evans sat in on the interview as well. I've interviewed Walz probably over 50 times since he arrived here as head coach in some interesting settings and with various people present but never with his S.I.D. present. It was absolutely no problem, though, and we must have done a passable job because Nick didn't fall asleep during the 12 minute interview. 

Security coded access points. Security at the door. Interviews conducted under the watchful eye of a Walz staffer. What's this world coming to?  I'm beginning to get the idea that they're on to Paulie after all these years. At least they haven't implemented the body cavity search yet.  (Sorry, was just practicing my sarcastic yet humorous style in preparation for Hoops season...) 

I actually like the extra attention they're paying to Paulie and visitors these days and can understand the need to be a little tighter about things than the way things were set up over at the SAC building...where you could basically walk up on a number of coaches and staffers...even the women's basketball offices without a single check-point except for Margaret or Jeremy out front. I also noticed a couple of weeks ago that my old "back-way" to access the Cardinal Arena floor via elevator also had a security door. I'm wondering if Coach Sowry's office at the Field Hockey complex is set up like that, too? 

Coach Walz and I started with reviewing how the summer went for him. As you listen, you'll hear that he had a great trip to Colorado Springs and then to Japan as the head coach of the USA U 23 team. You'll also hear what lies ahead for him this fall and how excited he is for the opportunity to be a floor coach for the national team. Santa Barbara for the Nationals next stop on the Walz Across America 2017 tour! 

We moved on to a discussion of the 2017-18 schedule after that. Coach is excited about the preseason WNIT that starts Nov. 10th. against SEMO. That's right, kiddies...women's basketball is a mere 51 days away.  We discussed a few of the other non-conference and conference foes...including the early November trip to Columbus, OH where UofL will get a chance to play Ohio State on the court where the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four will take place. 

Our discussion turned to Jessica Laemmle's receipt of a scholarship and Coach talked about how she had put in the work to earn it. He chuckled when I referred to her as an "attack Yorkie". 

We also covered the center position and he made some very good points and observations about the history of that position since he has been the head coach of the program. Following that, we discussed the three 2017 arrivals to the squad and his expectations and thoughts for each of the three (Lindsey Duvall, Dana Evans and Retta Kakala). 

We ended our interview with a discussion of a couple of players that might warrant some special fan attention in the upcoming season...and a general overview of the new facilities. The 12-minute interview seemed to go much faster than 12 minutes. Coach stays busy, so we concluded our talks with a few off-microphone discussion topics, exchanged farewell greetings and Nick and I exited the office. 

I wish I had remembered to bring my cell phone to snap a few pictures but, unfortunately, I left it in my car. Still...a very good and informative chat with the head honcho of Cardinal women's basketball. Then, things took a downward spiral...




I concluded my Monday trip to campus with a stop by the Department of Public Safety Office to re-submit my Handicapped Parking information. This was a follow-up to a previous visit where I filled out the application. The permit request was promptly denied (because it wasn't on the official University paperwork form) . Those friendly and thoughtful folks in that facility (Not!) need a few customer service lessons. They refuse to accept a legal and notarized physician's statement that ol' Paulie is still in need of accessible parking. A document issued by the Commonwealth of Kentucky..the place where the campus is not worth the paper it is printed on down on Louisville's Belknap Campus 

I ask you, is this anyway to treat a highly popular but non-paid, part-time radio host on a not-for-profit, community radio station? 

I'm walking a lot better than I was in May after my right hip replacement but I'm not running a 4.3 - 40 yard dash just yet. I've also got a left knee that is failing pretty badly on me. The D.P.S. folks also want the princely sum of $150 for access to what the state gives you free.

I'll repeat that again. $150 a year to park for the handicapped on UofL property. 

 Look what we can do, Louisville, indeed. This boondoggle shakedown is another fine example of how disconnected the UofL administration can be at times toward the needs of their patrons and people promoting their University. UofL doesn't offer on-campus Media Parking permits. They also don't offer much sympathy or assistance to an old man who can't walk as good as most. I thought about calling Tom Jurich...but that man has enough on his plate these days already and probably would not be able to help anyway. Inter-departmental intercourse has a way of ending up vanishing in a sea of tangled communication lines, officious documents, ignored e-mails and rigid policies.

So. A unfortunate ending to a great day. I left my paperwork at the D.P.S. and told them to figure it out. I expect I'll get an update by the first snowfall in our fair city. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the job these officers do to protect and serve on campus. But, their office staff needs to be read their Miranda rights and hauled away. 

I wish I had better bone structure and could walk normally and with ease. I am working hard every day to strengthen my body after the hip replacement and hope to have my knee up and running again someday. Thanks, UofL D.P.S. for your concern, assistance and care in helping me cover sporting events and talk to coaches. I think I'll just heist a golf cart next time and drive the campus with reckless abandon. With Bill the Goat, a passel of Chimps and maybe even a Bjerke on board. 

Back to the positive. After all, that's what we do here. We promote the joy and excitement of UofL Women's Sports. Most days, that's the easiest job around. 

A special thanks to Coach Walz, Nick and Kate for making it a very enjoyable visit, preview and glance ahead of 2017-18 Cardinal Women's Basketball. It could be a very memorable season for Walz and company and we'll be here at Cardinal Couple to cover each step of the journey! 

And...good luck to Field Hockey today at Northwestern! Go Minnie, go Minnie! This one starts at 4 p.m. and is on the BTN2GO network...which means it's subscription based and not a freebie. 





  1. That's a tough shake for sure on the permit Paulie. I can't conceive why they want to charge for what the state provides free of charge. A money grab is all I came come up with.

    Great stuff with Coach. I couldn't access it at first so I downloaded Soundcloud (it's free!) and found a lot of other great stuff on there as well...including some other classic Cardinal Couple clips.

    Side note: The power and lights are back on in our condo here in Naples and the water damage restoration work is complete. WE lost some nice stuff because of the water damage, still have a slight musty smell in our abode but we're thankful it wasn't a total loss.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. Thanks, Joe. I'd get musty checked out. That usually leads to mod and you don't wanna be breathing that stuff all day.

      It is what it is down at UofL. I can't change it but don't have to be happy about it.


  2. I had a similar hassle with their Department of Safety last year. I was assisting an elderly lady into a building on campus and parked in a specially designed UofL Handicap spot. I have a state Handicap sticker. When I returned to my car, I was being written a ticket and the "writer" threatened to have my vehicle towed!

    Great interview with Coach! I have Soundcloud, it is worth it and Jeff sounds like he is ready for this party to get started!

  3. Paulie you and the guys there at the Couple keep doin' whaat you're doin'. There's a s#!tload of us out here who appreciate it. As for the dumb a$$e$ and morons who don't, just stride right by them, brother. They aren't worth the effort to stop and explain to or break your stride for. Keep couplin'!

    Curtis "Bureaucracy Sucks" Franklin

  4. Paulie, UK charges $37 a month for commuter parking permits on campus so don't complain too much about $150. I just wrote a $296 check to them so I can drive up there from here in Louisville and park three times a week for two classes I am taking. That's for eight months, not a year.

    College is expensive. I haven't even tried to see if the pass is accepted at JCC yet. I may take classes there in the spring because that drive is flat wearing me out! Plus going to ball-games and such I'm spending a lot of time on campus and in Lexington.

    I saw you at the Volleyball game chatting up Kathy DeBoer of the AVCA. She's a very nice lady and true Blue fan. Your little V'Ball birdies have the chance to be a pretty good team now that Anne Hard-Ass is gone. Not quite UK level, of course, but maybe competitive in the ACC.

    Matthew Mitchell For Governor

    1. Thanks Curtis! We appreciate that! As for you, Gov...yes, Kathy was nice to chat with. Anne was always and will always be one of my favorite UofL coaches and ALWAYS went out of her way to accommodate me, Jeff and the don't be slamming her on here, please.

      Volleyball WILL be good. As Howard Schnellenberger said years ago about is football program: "We are on a collision course with the National Championsship. The only variable is time."

      Same thing applies to Volleyball.


    2. $37 per month for a commuter pass is rough. Louisville charges $100 per year for a "purple" pass which is available to off-campus underclassmen. Seems reasonable until you find out that the only purple parking is at PJCS which puts you a bit of a hike from even the closest school buildings (engineering). Students have to ride the Cardinal Shuttle service, which can be late, or overcrammed at the worst class times,. It also stops running at a certain point in the night, making it a challenge for someone that wants to study on campus all day and into the night without having to leave to move their car once parking restrictions open.

      Still, at $37 per month I'd have to find another parking location, if I were you.

  5. You hearing anything about a game change to 3:30 Paulie for football?

    1. For this week, nope. For next week, it is very possible. But, like Sgt. Schultz...I KNOW NOTHING COLONEL HOGAN!


    2. The Bird Lady9/20/2017 1:33 AM

      Murray St has been announced 3:30. I like 3:30 games. Time to tailgate but not out until 1 am trying to get home.

    3. YES! 3:30 means we on't have to pre-record The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour or scramble around to try and get a show together. I wish they were ALL 3:30.


  6. I have found the University of Louisville and the groups that run their facilities to be contemptuous of those with mobility problems. I too, have a bit of trouble getting around and i am forced to Either go down and then go up multiple steps because everyone is forced out the five feet wide concourse at the top of the KFC/YUM center. Ten thousand people using such a small egress makes for longtime periods on one's feet. They will not allow the use of the exits on the floor, no matter your level of pain. To be honest, I much prefered Freedom hall to the Bucket. After volleyball games at Cardinal arena, I would walk across Floyd St. and my family would pick me up in front of the softball stadium. Now they have erected a barrier on the median which will force me to walk much farther. I will give it a try but it appears I may have to stay home. U of L is not my hero when it come to helping the handicapped. We sure wouldn't want that the stand in the way of profit, would we?

  7. Thanks paulie for the interview with coach Jeff Walz.

    1. No prob, MLW. It was a pleasure to do. Always is.


  8. I ran into Handicap Parking difficulties a few years ago at another University here in the state. I was told that the reason the University could not accept the state Handicapped issued placard was that 'unscrupulous' students were borrowing their parents or relatives stickers and using them to park free on campus instead of buying resident year-long parking stickers. Also 'day students' who were just coming in for classes and leaving after were 'abusing the system'

    I went ahead and parked in the "official University-only Handicapped spots" anyway when I would visit that campus and never got ticketed. My issue at the time was a left foot that was in a cast and I had a state-issued Handicapped placard that I hung from my rear view mirror.

    It's a slippery slope. Large student bases, limited parking and faculty and staff to deal with as well.

    Paulie, I wonder what type of permit your buddy Jeff Walz has and whether he has to pay for his or not?

    1. As far as I'm concerned, they should give Walz a helicopter and light rail line to take him wherever he wants to go. The man has earned it.



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