Charlie Strong train appears bound for Texas

Charlie Strong chokes up during introductory press conference in 2009.
Charlie Strong chokes up during introductory press conference in 2009.

The room goes quiet, a tear rolling down Charlie Strong’s cheek during the December 2009 press conference announcing his appointment as head football coach at the University of Louisville.

Grateful for an opportunity after numerous turn downs, wondering for years if the chance would ever come. Expressing his appreciation to Tom Jurich, onlookers assuming a long-time commitment from someone so humble, so appreciative.

That was then, before he took his teams to four straight bowl games, winning three of them, including a BCS Sugar Bowl last year, proclaiming UofL fans to be the most valuable players. He would also win 37 games against only 15 losses. He seemed the perfect fit for Louisville.

A late Friday report from, a Texas fan site, indicated that Texas wants Strong to be its next coach, and that Strong is expected to accept the offer. Already one of the top 10 best paid coaches in America, Strong apparently couldn’t turn down the offer.

Not that this comes as a great shock to UofL fans who have seen this scenario played out at least four times over the last two decades. No matter how happy football coaches say they are, they are always looking around, happy to assume caretaker positions at more traditional football programs.

What they fail to envision is how much greater their legacies could be by taking a University of Louisville program to the top. Jurich had said he would match any offer to keep Strong at UofL. But not even he could compete with Texas money.

Strong has the program going in the right direction and fan support has increased dramatically, establishing all-time attendance records during the past season. What he was able to do was to post impressive bowl wins despite never winning sole possession of a conference championship in the Big East or the American Athletic Conference.

Like most successful football coaches at UofL, Strong feels he’s destined for greater things. Sounds like sour grapes, but most of them didn’t last very long elsewhere.

If anyone deserves continued success, however, it is Charlie Strong. Louisville fans are appreciative all what he has done and should be prepared to move on.

The Charlie Strong train may be headed west.

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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.

13 thoughts on “Charlie Strong train appears bound for Texas”

  1. If true, thanks for the memories Charlie and God speed!

    Let the Master (Jurich) once again do his magic!

  2. Good luck Coach Strong. His last 2 seasons have been great (thanks Teddy) his first two not so much. Still a 37-15 record. Now, go.

    It’s time to think about who the next coach will be. How about Petrino? A winner – most successful coach Louisville has had. I read that David Cutcliffe was being considered. I hope not!

    Whenever a coach is named, Card fans will give their support!

    1. Texas doesn’t have a clue about the brand of the football coming its way, mostly slow and methodical until bowl time rolls around and Charlie get three or four weeks to prepare for an opponent. Lots of sleepy looks around my section at time this past season.

    2. “Whenever a coach is named, Card fans will give their support!” Maybe so, Steve, but how many times can the fans accept wholeheartedly a coach who purports to be loyal, then bails for greener pastures? Methinks Cards fans will now be much more skeptical of “coach-speak.” Yes, we will support the team, but their coach, well, time will tell. Go Cards!

  3. Strong is taking his time, dragging out the decision-making process just like Texas does on every important issue. Make those bastards wait and then turn them down cold. Crazy Texas bastards.

    1. I can only hope you’re right; but on another note maybe it would be better if the big 12 could get loui to join us & then you guys could go to tx & beat the Longhorns so in essence Strong could be coaching in tx! i only wish; i wonder has loui signed the grant of rights contract yet since they havent officially joined the ACC?

      1. Louisville did sign the grant of rights. If Texas hadn’t dragged out the process, UofL would have gone to the Big 12. A good thing as it turned out because the ACC was eager to get Louisville. The ACC is perfect for UofL with all teams in the same time zone, fewer distances between universities and with all 22 sports in the same league. ACC perfect for Louisville.

        1. Football rules the media & money with the big 12 they would make more money plus have their 3rd tier media rites for themselves. The big 12 already owns the rights to the big 16 & a few more names so they intend to grow & it will be east. The pod system would work great everyone plays their own pod & 2 teams every year from every other pod. Plus the big 12 lets each school bill the conference for all travel cost so everyone is on equal ground. As for the travel the longest travel is in the pac 12 washington to arizona several hundred miles more than west virgina to tx & no-one there is complaining. i would travel to see the games. i didn’t make it ot W.V. yet but im looking forward to it.

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