Posted January 05, 2014

Texas announces Louisville’s Charlie Strong as next head coach

Charlie Strong, Louisville Cardinals, Texas Longhorns
(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Charlie Strong was 37-15 in his career with Louisville, including bowl wins over Miami and Florida in back-to-back seasons.(Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Texas has its man. The Longhorns officially announced the hiring of Charlie Strong as the program’s 29th football coach on Sunday.

Strong, who spent the past four seasons as head coach at Louisville, said in a statement that he is grateful for the opportunity ahead.

“I’m excited and my family is excited to have the chance to lead one of the premier football programs in the country,” Strong said. “Texas is one of those places that is always on your radar and a program anyone would dream of being a part of because you have a chance to compete on a national level every year. It’s special because it has such great history, pride, tradition and passion for football.”

In a press conference on Sunday, Jurich confirmed that Strong will depart Louisville, though Texas had yet to officially confirm the hire at that time. Several outlets, including Chip Brown of OrangeBloods.com and Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com reported, first reported on Saturday that Texas was likely to announce Strong’s hire on Sunday.

The news of Strong’s hire was first reported on Friday night by Bobby Burton of 247Sports.com.

Texas athletic director Steve Patterson said in a statement that Strong boasts the right credentials to carry the Longhorns’ program forward.

“I am excited to have Charlie Strong here to build on the proud tradition of Texas football and the 16 great years that Mack Brown gave to the program. Our committee and former lettermen helped create an extensive selection criteria and after visiting with Charlie, it was clear he met them all. He led championship defenses as an assistant, a resurgence at the University of Louisville with double-digit game winning seasons, and twice been selected conference coach of the year.

Most importantly, Charlie is a man of great integrity, with a wonderful family, who is well respected inside and outside the game. He is committed to the development of the total student-athlete both on and off the field. Charlie will represent the program and University extremely well. We look forward to a long and successful tenure for him here at Texas. I’d also like to thank President Bill Powers, our search committee, Jed Hughes and others who helped us select Coach Strong.”

Texas did not release contract details, but SI.com’s Pete Thamel reported on Friday night that Texas and Strong had agreed in principle to a five-year deal that would pay Strong about $5 million per year.

Strong is 37-15 in his career with Louisville, a mark that includes bowl wins over Miami and Florida in back-to-back seasons. He replaces Mack Brown, who spent 16 years as head coach at Texas. Strong discussed the responsibility of carrying over Brown’s legacy into the new era of Longhorns football.

“To follow a future Hall of Fame coach like Mack Brown, who built a program that had great success and a reputation of doing it with class and integrity, is extra special,” Strong said. “The National Championship, BCS Bowl wins and all he accomplished in 16 years built on the Longhorn legacy and makes it such an exciting place to be.

“Coach Brown developed such a strong bond with his players, the lettermen, community and high school coaches in this state, and that’s something I hope to build on. He made everyone feel at home. I had the opportunity to speak at the High School Coaches Clinic in Austin a few years ago and Coach Brown introduced Coach (Darrell) Royal, and everyone gave him a standing ovation. Meeting Coach Royal and being around him that day is something I’ll never forget.”

Strong is a guy who is a proven winner in only one stint as a head coach: The Cardinals have been one of the nation’s most successful programs over the last two years with a 23-3 record, including bowl wins in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history. Strong was well-respected as a defensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Florida, and while the coach’s on-field credentials are excellent, many wonder how Strong will handle the relentless media coverage in Austin. Brown enjoyed a very comfortable relationship with the media during his tenure, and whether or not Strong can do the same under a much brighter light remains to be seen. Still, Strong is known as a talented recruiter, so the sky is the limit with what he can do at Texas, which enjoys a hotbed of in-state prospects right in its backyard.

104 comments
vmiaptetr
vmiaptetr

Congratulations. Texas tries to prove they are just as diverse as A&M by hiring a black coach.

j7apple
j7apple

A National Championship within 3 years.

6marK6
6marK6

Let me first say that I am an alumnus of UT and a season ticket holder. I am absolutely ecstatic about the hiring of Strong. Mack did a great job here, but the last four years had become a joke. We did not develop talent, we missed out on so many top recruits that we should have had, we had embarrassing losses, we eeked out lucky wins against dregs like KU and Iowa State. And all the while, Mack would just spin and spin like some politician. It got very old. UT affords a coach a great many advantages, as did the weak schedules we had played in recent years, and we underachieved mightily. Now the politician is gone and we have a young and hungry football guy. This man is ambitious and his only goal is to win football games, not slap backs at social functions. Good!

Nostradamus
Nostradamus

Having followed Texas since the 1980's I'm pretty confident that this was a good hire at this point and that Charlie Strong can compete for championships here.  When Mack came, he was absolutely the right guy.  The program had been beaten up for 10 years.  He was hot and his optimism and people skills were critical.  Now, not so much. The team was soft again, just like in Mackovic years.  Mack lost his edge, or just no longer matched up well with the kids.  And he was way too nice.  Strong is a change of pace. The talent will come.  If not in quite the same abundance as Brown, that's really okay because it's what you can do with the kids that counts. Charlie Strong had almost an entire team of three stars.  But he turned them into great players, highly motivated players.  If he can do that, it will be enough.


Don't forget that the other big change is Steve Patterson for Deloss Dodds. Deloss wanted Mack to be the press conference guy.  Patterson changes cultures. I guaranty he has a plan to work with Strong in a different way to make the media stuff happen.  


If he wins, no worries about all the "oil tycoons".  Haha!  They are also just people and he can handle them. If they get their feelings hurt because he did not kiss their boot, all the better. I don't want people like that to make our coaches dance anyway. They can go shovel cow poo at their hobby ranches.  If he wins, people will flock to him and the program.


Not saying by the way that there were not "better" coaches out there.  Who can say a proven Saban or Meyer or whomever is not a safer hire?  So what.  They were not available and Charlie was.  Nobody has a corner on coaching talent.


The black thing is great.  About time.  Now it is irrelevant.  The mixed race marriage, better.  It is great when a person of one race can find love and not crush it with their biases.  We are shedding our cultural junk decade by decade.

mike.russell
mike.russell

It's not only about reclaiming lost ground from the last few years.  The other programs in Texas have gained and held ground.  Kids see a Heisman Trophy winner at Baylor, at A&M, and that the others go to bowls consistently.  The Longhorns have lost their One and Only aura.

sg12
sg12

For all the "Texas Money" and "Texas High School Recruiting Power", this is the best the great state of Texas could come up with? Come on- you have to do better than this. I thought you would get Lombardi, Halas, Shula, Landry, Cowher, Harbaugh, Carroll, Saban, Meyer, or even Timlin. This hire is a joke right? Couldn't you have just signed  Mike Shula and hoped for Saban in 2-3 years? The whole country is laughing our As  s   off at how pathetic Texas football has become.

TheDistrict
TheDistrict

Great hire. Texas will be back to being a national powerhouse very soon. 

OnTheRoad
OnTheRoad

Just hope that he can recruit a QB!!!!!

JohnMatuszak
JohnMatuszak

will Urban Meyer fake some illness now to get out of Oho for the Louisville job?

hr334466
hr334466

He is a great football coach and his kids graduate.

Marty2
Marty2

Congratulations.  Now you  have the honor of dealing with rich, self-important boosters who will feel the unremitting need to tell you how to do your job.  Careful what you wish for . . .

NickPirce
NickPirce

I think CharlieStrong will be an amazing coach at Texas

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

It certainly seems that Strong knows how to coach. With the recruits he'll get at Texas, if he can indeed coach them, the Longhorns should get a lot better in a hurry. And let's face it, a job like Louisville is a stepping stone. And he has used it well. 

Does this mean James Franklin will go to Penn State?

WilyCoyoteSuperGenius
WilyCoyoteSuperGenius

College football is ALL about recruiting and Texas football is ALL about recruiting in Texas. I don't see Strong as have any contacts in Texas high school football, but perhaps he will hire assistants who can make up for that shortcoming. His biggest problem is going to be expectations for Texas to be competing for a national title from day one.

MichaelLueckert
MichaelLueckert

Awesome. A GREAT coach that we HAD at UF, but passed over for Muschump. My Gators downward spiral started the season Strong left for Loiusville. Dude can recruit, coach and inspire ... Damn it.

HarshRealities
HarshRealities

Remember in the 2006 NCG when Florida held Ohio State to less than 100 yards total offense for the whole game? Charlie Strong was the defensive coordinator for Florida during that National Championship Game!

JeremyLindley
JeremyLindley

Look at this, L'ville Kentucky fans trying to paint Austin as racist. Omgosh! I don't blame him for getting out of Loserville ASAP. #sinkingship

dandogwood
dandogwood

The eyes of Texas are upon you. Stong will do well is Strong listens and obeys and does what Strong is told in Austin.  Strong will become a puppet for the oil millionaires in Texas pulling the strings. 

usamnt
usamnt

@sg12Ugh. Thank God we didn't end up with Saban or Meyer. Texans want something authentic and unique - not success where the coach is bigger than the program. Saban would never have created more Texas legacy if he won, just Saban legacy. Totally support Strong and I may actually pay to attend more games again. Maybe this guy Charlie knows a great QB when he sees one and we'll quit letting Round 1 talent walk out of the state...

oaddi1
oaddi1

@sg12 You make a good point however Texas went with Strongest candidate left. ;)

KristianColasacco
KristianColasacco

@sg12 None of their top choices were interested.  They had to take eat some humble pie and settle for what was probably their 6th or 7th choice. 

Cool
Cool

@sg12 I bet you got some great stickers decorating your protective head gear.  All the other kids on the short bus must be jealous of you.

TheDistrict
TheDistrict

@OnTheRoad The #1 overall pick in the NFL draft will be the Louisville QB so it appears he knows that he's doing on that front

Cool
Cool

@JacobAnderson I hate self promoting bloggers.  If you actually have a good blog people would already be chatting about it and you wouldn't need to appear so desperate. 

Cool
Cool

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius I would wager to say that any top level high school football player already knows about Charlie Strong and has already formed an opinion about him.  My guess would be that a higher percentage of them are impressed with his accomplishments and would be more than willing to listen to what he has to offer them.  As for people expecting a national title, well I think a lot of us hope that for our programs, but all of us are realistic.  

Mel
Mel

@WilyCoyoteSuperGenius So a guy with 2 BCS game wins, a heisman runner up and is a national name won't be able to make contacts at Texas high school? LOLOL okay. I'm not a Texas fan to any degree, but this is a fantastic hire for them.

Mel
Mel

@MichaelLueckert As a fellow Gator fan, I couldn't agree more. Biggest mistake UF has made in the last decade was letting Strong walk away. Muschamp isn't a head coach.

MichaelLueckert
MichaelLueckert

Strong was DC for both of UFs championships .... Then our idiot AD passed him over for Muschump

Homer87
Homer87

@dandogwood Do you make stupid uneducated comments on every article you read?

JeremyLindley
JeremyLindley

You are either seriously a loser or joking, I hope you are joking

zeebaneighba
zeebaneighba

@JohnDepa

Perhaps. If not, he's clearly biding his time until Dantonio leaves. If that's the case, you have to suspect MD has already indicated he plans to step down within 2-3 years.


6marK6
6marK6

@KristianColasacco @sg12 And you are basing this on what? Some unfounded espn report. We had offered the job to one guy, Saban. That got blown up by Mack. No other coach had been offered the job. Get your facts straight. "6th or 7th"? Get real!

6marK6
6marK6

Kristian, you really are not that smart, stop talking, you are embarrassing your family. 

zeebaneighba
zeebaneighba

@Roy1@Marty2But present in spades. I give him four years. He has to be dead solid perfect coming out of the gate or the big-hat types will be baying for his head.

Zeshan
Zeshan

@MichaelLueckert Perhaps even more telling, Florida won the NC game against Oklahoma thanks to two (!) 4th-&-goal stands. That's some serious defensive play-calling, especially considering Sam Bradford was the OK QB then. As a Gator fan, we definitely missed our chance.

megalodale
megalodale

@MichaelLueckertAnd fortunately for Texas, their "head coach in waiting" moved on.  Man, did they (Texas) dodge a bullet on that one.

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@JeremyLindley   regardless of whether Strong was black or white, ANY coach in Austin right now has to play politics.  Way too much of it down there at the school from president, AD, board of regents, Gov of the state, big money donors etc...


dealing with the Longhorn network will be tough too.


college football is no different than other places to work in that some are more political than others.


WAY too many folks in and around Austin think they should be allowed to have their hands on the program.


i don't care who they hired, it's a tough gig under those circumstances and it has nothing to do with the color of skin GOD gave him.

ecp_unix
ecp_unix

@Zeshan@MichaelLueckertStoops blew that one. He had the best QB in college football and a stud tight end and didn't try to throw the ball any of the 8 tries OU had inside the 5