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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Where Are They From? -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple


Since we have spent so much time looking ahead to next school year and all the sports coming up I wanted to take a moment to look back at last season from a different perspective- a geographical perspective.  Louisville brings in athletes from all around the country and several countries around the world, so I did some research to find out where our athletes are from.

As important points of reference, my numbers come from the 12 Louisville womens athletic programs and the 2018-19 season. 

In my messy, indecipherable chart I was able to break down each state (U.S.) and each country where the athletes originate as well as the breakdown of each individual team.  Some of my findings surprised me while others fell right in line with what I expected.

The only state with a representative from each team is Kentucky, which should come as no surprise.  Most of the non-revenue teams are limited on scholarships, meaning many of the student-athletes are paying some or all of their tuition out of pocket.  In-state tuition is way cheaper than heading out of state.  For example, in-state tuition at Louisville is around $11,000 per year while out-of-state tuition would cost over $26,000 per year.

Kentucky is home to 54 of the student-athletes that we saw last season.  Track and field led the way with 12 representatives while lacrosse and tennis (Again, a reminder -- all sports discussed in today’s article are women’s sports) each had one representative.

Indiana was next in line with 20 student-athletes calling that state home.  Softball and track and field combine for half of that with each team hosting five players from the Hoosier State.  Basketball and rowing each have one person from Indiana.

Other states in the double-digits with student-athletes include Florida (14), Ohio (14), California (12), Pennsylvania (11), Virginia (11) and Maryland (10).  The other states contributing student-athletes include Alabama (2), Colorado (4), Delaware (2), Georgia (9), Hawaii (2), Illinois (4), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (7), Missouri (1), New Jersey (5), New York (6), New Hampshire (1), North Carolina (7), Oregon (1), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (4), Texas (5), Washington (3) and Wisconsin (6). 

U.S. territory Puerto Rico has (1) student-athlete on UofL womens' sports roster.

There’s also plenty of players that came from outside the United States.  In all, 38 student-athletes across women’s sports last season were considered international players from 22 different countries.

The countries that were home to UofL student-athletes include Argentina (1), Australia (1), Bosnia (1), Brazil (1), Canada (9), Czech Republic (1), England (1), France (2), Germany (1), Ireland (2), Jamaica (1), Kenya (3), New Zealand (3), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Puerto Rico (1), Russia, (4), Senegal (1), Slovenia (1), South Africa (1), Spain (1) and the United Kingdom (1).

Now let’s take a moment to analyze a few of those numbers

If you take out rowing and track and field, you lose half of your international players and countries right off the bat.  Only six members of the swimming and diving team (women’s side, don’t forget) originate from outside the United States.  I expected that number to be higher from all the times we talked about our swim team competing overseas or the numerous countries represented in the Olympics.

There are no women’s athletes hailing from Mexico despite it being a border country.  We did see nine student-athletes spread across five sports coming from our northern border in Canada.

Besides Antarctica providing us with no players for obvious reasons, Asia is the least represented continent.  However you choose to argue Russia’s inclusion with Asia and Europe and where the specific players come from only four players come from Asia, all from Russia. It should be noted that women's basketball has an incoming freshman from Japan. 

Outside of Indiana, Virginia and Ohio we don’t have a lot of athletes from the other four border states.  Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia combine for nine athletes with West Virginia having zero.

The Northeast/New England area is a popular recruiting area.  Field hockey, lacrosse and swimming and diving have been key contributors to that.

The West Coast brings in more players than I initially thought.  California, Oregon and Washington combine for 16 players.  Soccer has played the biggest part in claiming seven of those.

The time, effort and research that the Louisville coaches engage to find our student-athletes is something that should be appreciated by all Cardinal fans. Whether it is from mountainous towns of the Rockies or the sunny beaches of the southern states, be ready student athletes. UofL coaches will find, recruit and bring you to campus. 


Let me know your thoughts and reactions and where our student-athletes hail from.  I found it to be a nice summer project with some interesting results.

Don’t forget to check back here, as I continue with Chapter 5 of our UofL women’s sports history on Friday!

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!



  1. Jared, I submit that Puerto Rico is part of the U.S. If you want to highlight the contribution, I suggest a specific category for U S territories.

  2. I would be interested in percentages. Rowing is a huge squad and tennis is much smaller so....

  3. THERE YA GO Jared...I would also agree that Puerto Rico is a part of the U.S....but they are not officially recognized as a staso, I can see both sides here.


    1. But Paulie, Jared has them listed under "countries" and territories should be listed with states. Just because they don't have voting rights...neither does D.C....should not mean they are different than a state. Other territories include Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa and Northern Marianna Islands.

    2. I have edited the article.


  4. We need to be mindful that this is a volunteer site with a group of people who donate their time to writing about womens sports at UL.
    This article submitted by Jared took a long time to write and we should be grateful that he and others submit articles.
    Yes there will "errors..." but just be mindful that these articles are written with a sports angle rather than political one.


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