We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Running Sports Welcome New Director -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Joe Franklin Replaces Cowper at Helm of T&F and Cross Country

If you're like me, you would be quite surprised to see the University of Louisville announcing a new director of Track & Field and Cross Country given the recent success of the program. The introductory article was sufficiently vague regarding what the naming of Joe Franklin meant for Dale Cowper at UofL. I frantically hunted on the roster and coach pages to see if he was only being relieved of some stresses so he could focus on his preferred role of throws. 

I ultimately found a story from April that went a bit under the radar. It was then, April 5th to be exact, that Louisville announced Cowper would be departing after the 2023 season. Cowper led Louisville for 10 seasons including this one, and he had been a part of Louisville's staff for 17 years. Louisville's successes were numerous under his leadership, and he will be missed. His presence certainly remained felt for the rest of the season, as Louisville sent a large contingent to the NCAA Championships, with almost all of the qualifications coming after the announcement.

Cowper's admiration and respect for the University are represented by the early announcement of his departure, as that afforded Josh Heird and Company free rein to pursue a new coach out in the open. The Cards appear to have landed a good one, as they bring Joe Franklin back home from the University of New Mexico. Franklin has no specific ties to Louisville, but I say he's coming back home because he hails from Greencastle, Indiana. Greencastle is about an hour west of Indianapolis, and it would take about two and a half hours to drive to the city center from UofL. While that's not particularly close, it's significantly closer than UNM. It would take almost twice as long to fly from Albuquerque to Indianapolis as it would to drive from Louisville to Greencastle, and flying to Indy is only half the battle.

That's all a bit much to justify a throwaway line about Franklin's motivations in coming to Louisville, but what do you want from me? It's summer. Anyway, Franklin was a middle distance runner at Purdue, which he graduated from in 1991. Let me save you the hassle of looking it up: Purdue is an hour drive from Greencastle. You get to take one highway the whole way. Yippee, Indiana. After graduating, Franklin was immediately named the head cross country coach at DePauw (no, not DePaul) University. He stayed there for just one year, being named the conference coach of the year and then heading back to Purdue to be the assistant coach for the men's teams. After a couple of years at his alma mater, Franklin was named the head men's and women's T&F/CC coach at Butler University, where he coached from 1994 to 2007. In that 14 year span, he was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year 19 times. He earned the Great Lakes Region Men's COTY honor in 1998 and the National Men's COTY award in 2004. 

Franklin was named to the head gig in Albuquerque in 2007. He was honored for his coaching many times. It was so many times that I am sorry to the UofL intern that was forced to type them all. Here's a screenshot so you can see for yourself.

In addition to the coaching honors, Franklin led UNM to 27 Mountain West team championships. The women's cross country team won 15 straight titles from 2008-2022. He oversaw 187 individual conference titles and 13 straight top-10 finishes in the NCAA women's cross country championship. Another draw to Louisville may be that his two women's cross country titles (2015 and 2017) both came at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville. The 2017 team boasted the individual winner as well. 

All in all, Franklin looks like a wonderful addition to the Louisville ranks. Heird may be finding an under-the-radar star similar to the one Vince Tyra found in Dani Busboom Kelly. Time will tell. For now, we say welcome to Joe and his family, and we look forward to the continued success of the UofL women's cross country and track & field squads under his leadership.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

My hiatus continues this week, and Daryl will be out again as well. Fortunately, Jared is back after his wedding went off without a hitch (because they got hitched) last weekend. It's sure to be an exciting show, as Paulie and Jeff rib Jared for his love affair with a cake or something. They'll almost certainly also talk about Louisville women's athletics. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

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!



  1. You can take one highway the whole way, but it's under construction, because: Indiana

  2. As a personal recollection, the first time I ever visited a Jimmy John's was in West Lafayette many moons ago.

    I've been there several times for sporting events and a business trip one time that had me out on the road for a week -- considering things in Vincennes, Terre Haute, Champagne, Olney, Carmi, Evansville and Jasper. Yeah, Mr. Excitement, that's me.



Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...