A day for Charlie Strong and mentor

Friday was Charles Strong Day in Mississippi, Arkansas, the boyhood home of the University of Louisville football coach.

The inescapable conclusion is that Charles Strong, Sr. was an educator and coach there, apparently beloved and revered, imparting strong values that earned for him long-term respect while setting an example for his son.

Pen in hand.
Pen in hand.

The UofL coach returned to be a part of the celebration, meeting and greeting, signing autographs, listening to and giving speeches, motivating all the while, carrying on in his father’s name, per the Blytheville Courier:

“I’m just so happy to be back home and come back to Mississippi County and come back to a community that my father was such a big part of,” said Strong. “He was a coach and educator here … It’s such a special day.”

Making the day even more special for Strong was the county proclamation that Friday, July 12, 2013 be “Charles Strong Day.”

“It’s just so special that I could have a mentor like that. Someone that you can follow and continue in his legacy.”

Strong touched on his own recent success — namely Louisville’s victory in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. In his third year, Strong and his young squad exceeded many experts’ expectations with a huge win over No. 3 Florida.

“What the Sugar Bowl did for us is it raised the expectation level at the university. No one really gave us a chance. No one ever thought that we were going to win that football game. Then we had the national stage and that night we had the national spotlight.”

While the Cardinals may have exceeded expectations in the 2012 season, he said the 2013 season is about having even higher expectations.

“The only thing that’s happened since we won the Sugar Bowl has been the excitement and the enthusiasm in the community,” he said. “And now that you have a winning football team, you have a lot of expectations.”

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.