The University of Louisville began competing in football in 1912. The Cardinals joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1963. In 1996 to 2005, Louisville competed in Conference USA, presently Louisville is in the Big East Conference. Louisville's rivals include the Kentucky Wildcats, Cincinnati Bearcats, and Memphis Tigers. The Cardinals hold 6 conference titles overall. Some of the greatest players for the Louisville Cardinals include David Akers, Deion Branch, Ernest Givins, Tom Jackson, and Johnny Unitas. The Cardinals are Coached by Charlie Strong, one of the most respected Defensive minds in all of College Football. The Cardinals play their home games in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Players touch a bronze statue of Johnny Unitas prior to entering the field.