Charlie Strong may face decision, but choice should be obvious

The speculation has already begun, less than three days after the regular season ended for the University of Louisville football team.

Charlie Strong to replace the fired Randy Shannon as football coach at Miami? Shannon given his walking papers after a 7-5 won-lost record this season.

A tearful Charlie Strong accepts Louisville job

The speculation stems from a Sports Illustrated blog listing Strong, along with Mark Richt of Georgia, Dan Mullen of Mississippi State, Tommy Tuberville of Texas Tech, and Jon Gruden, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

No surprise, considering the simplicity of thinking that goes into college football coaching searches. Every analyst in the herd is rushing to a conclusion that Charlie Strong, with his strong Florida recruiting ties, is the logical choice.

Informative that no one has reported any contact between Charlie Strong and Miami. As of right now, it’s still a bunch of media pundits and bloggers throwing names in the air.

After being shafted by coaches like Howard Schnellenberger, John L. Smith and Bobby Petrino over the years, no Louisville fan should be surprised. Strong has assembled an impressive coaching staff at Louisville, making tremendous strides during his first season. He would be an attractive candidate for any school.

But before anyone decides that Strong is leaving, it should be pointed out that his best opportunity is here. Less than a year ago, with tears in his eyes, Strong stood at a podium accepting the UofL position, promising that he would make Louisville a winner again.

His results were so impressive that he was successful in attracting more than 50,000 fans per game to watch a team with a 6-6 record (Anyone who thinks that could happen in Miami is kidding themselves). Louisville gave him a chance to be a head coach when no one else would. That should count for a lot when the desperate and envious come calling.

This community will support him in ways that few college fan bases or administrators have proven themselves capable. That support has no ceiling, as Charlie Strong already knows. Money should be no object and what he can accomplish here can’t be duplicated anywhere else.


No one has said it better: Letter to Charlie Strong, written by Jack Coffee of Louisville Sports Report.


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Charlie Springer

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

13 thoughts on “Charlie Strong may face decision, but choice should be obvious

  • November 29, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Tom Jurich knows Charlie Strong is a valuable commodity and I’m certain that he is already working on a significant raise for the man, as well as for all of his assistants. Maybe Charlie is the coach who finally recognizes what a golden opportunity the Louisville job represents. He owns this city. In Miami, he would be just the next football coach.

  • November 29, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Charlie – I hope you’re right…I’d hate to see Charlie Strong go…I also hope Louisville becomes (or is) a destination for coaches, not a stepping-stone to another program.

    By the way, I had lunch with Bob Pruett while I was in the Ville over Thanksgiving…we had a good time as Bob was having one of his better days.

    I hope to see all of you over the Christmas break…maybe we can even take in a game at the YUM! Center.

  • November 29, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    I wouldn’t say we were shafted by Schnellenberger, Smith, and Petrino.

    Schnellenberger had a legitimate beef with the lack of a modern stadium. I believe it was his leaving that gave the movers and shakers the swift kick in the pants that eventually led to the building of PJCS.

    John L. left to move up to a better program. LIke it or not, we were a stepping stone, and either he didn’t feel he was going to be able to develop the position into the destination job he wanted, or he felt he had already proven himself and it was time to go. My only complaint was the way he did it.

    Petrino shopped himself around a lot, but Jurich always came through with the bucks to keep him around – until the pros came calling. Jurich said, and rightly so, that he couldn’t afford to compete with the NFL.

    Strong has the stadium. He has the money. He has the support of the administration, the community, and the fans (say what you will about butts in seats during the games). He has the opportunity to build a dynasty. He has made a commitment to build a winning program.

    I think Charlie Strong will stick around for at least 3 or 4 years. Our job in that time is to make sure he and his family fall in love with Louisville and decide that not only can UofL be a destination job, but Louisville is a destination city.

  • November 29, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I was with you Rick until that last sentence. If he leaves after three or four years, nothing has changed.

  • November 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    The Miami job is not that much better than the Louisville job in my opinion. We have better facilities,our football stadium is on our campus, Miami stadium is 40 minutes away from their campus,and if you think our fans are bad about not going to the games, Miami fans are 10 times worse.The only advantage i see the Miami job having over the Louisville job is Miami is in a football state and has 4 and 5 star recruits right in their backyard and we don’t.All in all i think Coach Strong has more upside at Louisville than at Miami.

    • November 29, 2010 at 11:53 pm

      Only in the interest of being informative, UM just received a $5 mill donation to build new athletic facilities.

      Other than that, you’re totally right. As one of the 27,000 that was at that USF game, I will be the first to tell you our fans suck. The 40 minute bus ride to the stadium sucks too… especially when we lose.

  • November 29, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    I would hope that Jurich is working day and night on this issue. It’s interesting, however, that Coach Strong has yet to appear at a U of L basketball game this year! Until the fans at Louisville take football as seriously as the fans do at major college programs, any U of L coach will always wonder how much glory and school spirit he is missing. What is wrong with the U of L fans that are more interested in having a good time than filling the stadium at least 30 minutes prior to the game. I can only speculate that they like the prices of the food and beer at the tailgating more than the prices in the stadium, and filling their gut and drinking heavily is the major goal at football games.

    • November 29, 2010 at 11:09 pm

      Jim, I strongly suspect that Charlie Strong doesn’t have time for basketball, working on football at least 12 hours, 30 minutes on his short days.

  • November 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Well put, Charlie, however, I too must disagree with your “shafted” remark. I recall the situations slightly different than the earlier protester.

    I believe Howard left primarily because the administration had decided to join CUSA, including football, and Howard wanted football to remain independent.

    John L did not break the news about his leaving; Michigan State did, apprently during our GMAC Bowl game to get maximum publicity. That stunk! I know because I was at that game and saw the effect on our players. Now, I will say that the parting interview comments that a reporter got from John L. as he was packing up his desk did burn a view bridges. But I think you have to temper those with the five solid years he gave us.

    With respect to Petrino, no one will give the guy a Mr. Personality award….least of all us. Still, I feel fortunate that we had him for four years. His brilliant offensive coaching schemes fit our personnel at that time perfectly. Save for a field goal at Rutgers, and we may have been playing OSU for the national championship. His open and early testing of greener pastures was very insulting, but no one is perfect. And, as far as I know, he wasn’t a cheater (in recruiting or in his personal life) and kept the players noses pretty clean.

    In all, yes, they “spurned” us. But most importantly, they each moved the program forward, ultimately motivating us to build and nearly fill a new stadium, got us into an ever ascending level of bowl, and had us on an upward trajectory in 2007. Their foundation and the stewardship of TJ are what enabled us to get Coach Strong IMO.

  • November 30, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Concerning Jack Coffee’s letter to Charlie Strong…I’m sure Charlie Strong knows exactly who Jack Coffee is. The fact is this…any BCS college football program that fires a coach in the next several years is probably going to toss a line in the Charlie Strong pool and see if there are any bites.

    $$$, dinero, moolah, Benjamins…yeah, that will come into play also. Don’t think for one minute that Strong won’t be receptive to looking at a multi-million dollar package if it surfaces from an SEC, ACC or Big Ten conference member.

    My letter, if I were Charlie Strong would start:

    “Show me the money, honey”

    Not saying he is altruistic or financially driven…but them who gets the most cupcakes, eats best.

  • November 30, 2010 at 10:00 am

    No doubt in my mind that Louisville is a better job than Miami. Miami is an international city, with a strong pro influence that only suports the UM program when they are at the highest national level. Any thing less than that and the city is not interested. The facilities are inadequate and the move to play in a pro stadium is a death blow to the program. Cannot think of one program that plays in a city dominated by professional sports, and plays in a pro stadium that has ever had long term success.

  • December 1, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Louisville is and always will be a stepping stone for college football coaches. This is one of the reasons Strong took the job. He knew he could have a couple decent seasons at Louisville since all the competition is so pathetic and go to either the pros or to a real football team. He would be stupid to turn down Miami.

    • December 1, 2010 at 9:10 am

      I seriously doubt Miami has any advantages over Louisville for rising coaches. Speaking of competition, Miami didn’t provide much the last time it played Louisville.

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