No getting behind a podium at a press conference, demeaning himself and squealing, “Whoo, pig, sooie!” like former UofL coaches Bobby Petrino and John L. Smith. That image just doesn’t register.
Not anytime soon anyway. Hopefully never for his sake.
Strong was asked the question by nationally syndicated talk show host Jim Rome Wednesday, about whether there was any substance to rumors he was talking to the Arkansas athletic officials. And he responded, answering the question straight on, with no nuances or equivocation.
“The athletic director here, the president here, gave me my first opportunity. I know my name comes up with a lot of different opportunities but when someone has reached out to you, I owe it to them to uphold what we’ve been talking about.
“A call may or not come. When I got this job, my name wasn’t even in the mix for the Louisville job. I’m fine where I’m at. I have a lot of backing here. My family’s here, they love it here. I’m pretty comfortable where I’m at. You don’t just walk away. A lot of times we think the grass is greener on the other side. You don’t walk away when you’re building a program.
“Then I look at the players I recruited here. I told them to come here for me and this university, and then all of a sudden I get a show to go somewhere else and I walk away from them? I’m just not cut like that, Jim.”
Good for him, good for Louisville.
Finally, a football coach who appears to appreciate, actually recognize what he has at the University of Louisville: The total support of the community, the solid financial backing of the athletic department, and an opportunity to take the program as far he can take it. What some former coaches failed to recognize was that in moving on to other programs they were saying they weren’t up to challenge of advancing the U of L program to the next level and sustaining success.
A man of his word, a breath of fresh air. The full interview here.