Ten months after signing a contract extension and one month after leading Louisville to its first ACC Men's Tournament title, head coach Ken Lolla
The surprise move
comes after 13 seasons, and was prompted, Lolla said in a statement, by a desire by his wife, Tina, and him to "seek new challenges."
"Thirteen years ago," he said, "God blessed Tina and
I with the opportunity to come to Louisville and be a part of this amazing Cardinal family and the Louisville community. We are forever grateful for the acceptance, support, and love we have received
from the Louisville community. It has been an honor and a privilege to represent such an outstanding institution and special community. Recently, we have received similar promptings from God that it
is time to seek new challenges. We have always been faithful to those promptings and we will move forward faithfully, knowing there is a calling we are to fulfill."
Lolla, a star at Duke
in the 1980s, came to Louisville in 2006 after 13 seasons as the head coach at Akron, whose program he helped revitalize. At Louisville, he led the Cardinals, who had never made the NCAA Tournament
before he arrived, to 11 postseason appearances in 13 seasons -- and five straight appearances in the quarterfinals. Lolla is a former coach in the U.S. youth national team program, working with the
The decision to leave Louisville was a surprise. Lolla's new contract, which went through 2022, paid him more than $300,000 a year, and the program was one of the best
supported in the country.
In 2014, Mark & Cindy Lynn Soccer Stadium -- one of the best college stadiums in the country -- was opened, and Louisville led the nation in total attendance
(46,433 fans for 13 home games).