Skip to Main Content
Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

History of the Cardinal Bird: 1971-1978

A history of the evolution of the University of Louisville's athletics mascot, known as the Cardinal Bird or Louie. Covers the development of the costume used for in-person appearances as well as the Cardinal Bird's depiction in print.


Around 1971, a highly stylized version of the Cardinal Bird head appeared alongside the Bird in boots. 

This image of men's basketball coach Denny Crum standing in front of a plaque featuring the Cardinal Bird alongside the University's Minerva seal comes from the 1971-72 basketball press guide.

This logo did not replace the bird in boots, but appeared on football helmets as well as in print. It was related to the "Red Rage" marketing campaign. 

Denny Crum standing in front of plaque featuring University of Louisville's symbol, Minerva, and the athletics logo
Image credit: Basketball 1971-72: press / radio / television, Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville