CRAWFORD | Breakfast with the Cardinals: Coaches do the cooking at Louisville | Sports


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – At first, it is just the coaches, and they are all smiles. Somebody had to run to Kroger to get more spatulas. The work is about to start. It is 8 a.m. Saturday morning in the Howard Schnellenberger Complex weight room, and the Louisville football coaching staff is preparing to make breakfast — for the whole team.

Head coach Scott Satterfield is manning the pancakes, with his wife, Beth, pitching in. In fact, a good many coaches’ wives are doing their share. But the man in charge is strength coach Ben Sowders. He’ll be scrambling eggs until he needs to stick his wrist into an ice bath.

The players wander in. Many of the team leaders at first. More experienced guys. They’re early arrivers — and not just for team meals. Country music blares over the loud speakers in the weight room. And soon, the laughter and chatter of players and coaches gives it a run for its money.

“We just like to get everybody together outside of football,” Satterfield said. “Just hanging out, fellowship, talking. I think that right there means a lot to our players and our staff. Just the camaraderie that you’re creating, togetherness, that pays off when you’re on the field and you face adversity, and you’ve been through so much outside of football. It really helps.”

Louisville position coaches will have players to their homes regularly during the season. Coaches will cook for the entire team occasionally. It’s the kind of thing that they couldn’t do as much of during COVID, and Satterfield has said that lack of contact hurt his teams.

“We ask so much of these guys every day,” Sowders said. “And they give us everything they have. So I just like to give something back to them, and this is a good way for us to do that. Breakfast is the one meal college kids miss the most, so we cook for them, and it brings them out and we all have a good time with it.”

As far as the food quality, you didn’t hear any complaints.

“They must’ve liked it,” Satterfield said. “They kept coming back, a lot of them.”

As for his own ability with the spatula, the coach remarked, “It’s hard to screw up some breakfast, you know some eggs, some bacon and pancakes. It’s hard to screw that up.”

“I’m not going to lie, their breakfast was pretty good,” said linebacker Momo Sanogo, a transfer from Ole Miss. “I’d take it every day if we could, but we’re not going to get them to come cook every day. It’s really good to bond with the team when you don’t have to. It’s one thing when you’re in practice and weights when you have to be there, but on a Saturday morning when you have better things to do, my better thing to do is to be here with my teammates.”

The waves of players kept coming. Just when the coaches could take a breath, another would show up, the offensive line being among the last. That’ll keep you busy till the end.

The Cardinals will continue conditioning for the next week or so, with practice officially beginning on Aug. 3.

“Today is all about family,” Sowders said. “That’s one thing I love about this coaching staff and program. It’s the real thing, and the players can feel that, and we want to model that in everything we do.”

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Jacqueline M. Faulkner

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