Charlie Strong on USA Today’s short list for Texas

Mack Brown did what he said wasn’t going to do and tendered his resignation at the University of Texas over the weekend, probably setting in motion a wave of coaching changes at some winning programs.

Apparently Nick Saban, of Alabama, had apparently turned Texas down before any official offer could be tendered, one happy camper with the program he restored at Alabama. The speculators emerged full force shortly afterwards with their short lists of possible candidates to succeed Brown

Among the speculators is Paul Myerberg, a sportswriter at USA Today, ranking the candidates for the job in order from first to fifth. His list included Mike Grundy, Oklahoma State; Jimbo Fisher, Florida State; Gus Malzone, Auburn; Mark Dantonio, Michigan State; and Charlie Strong of Louisville.

Here’s what Myerberg says about Strong:

Strong is another accomplished coach with a sizable buyout: UT would owe Louisville $5 million if it hired Strong in 2013 – and $4.375 million if the school waited until 2014, in case you were wondering. Beyond the money, Texas would also have to convince Strong to leave a very comfortable and successful position at Louisville, which leaves the American Athletic Conference to join the ACC after this season.

But what makes Strong an appealing candidate? He has big-school experience – as at Florida, where he helped win a pair of national titles. He has 11 wins in each of the last two seasons at Louisville, including a Sugar Bowl win against the Gators last January. Strong would have an enormous impact on the Longhorns’ defensive production, obviously. UT would want to hear his thoughts on an offensive staff before advancing past a preliminary stage, but Strong is a logical second-tier candidate for the opening.

We doubt Strong would be interested in the quagmire that is Texas. Longhorn fans are over the top when it comes to national aspirations and they have little patience. Lose two or three games and they’re already looking for a new coach.

Doubtful he would go to Florida State. He would be coaching right away against the players he recruited at Louisville and we don’t believe he would enjoy doing that. Besides any coaching candidate in his right mind wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of Jimbo Fisher who’s practically a legend in the minds of the school’s fans.

Auburn, based on its history, may have already attempted to schedule a secret meeting at a Southern Indiana airport. Charlie wouldn’t have agreed to participate in a clandestine activity.

Michigan State has gone the Louisville route before and it didn’t work out very well for the Spartans.

Oklahoma State is still in Oklahoma.

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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.

7 thoughts on “Charlie Strong on USA Today’s short list for Texas

  • December 15, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    I have gone on record and will do so again:

    Charlie Strong is the UL Football version of Denny Crum. He comes from a top school. Learned from one of the Masters of the game. Will turn down offers from “better, bigger, etc.” schools to build his own legacy. He’s not going anywhere. He doesn’t need to go the “Bobby P.” route. Way to much integrity.

    Keep the Cardinal Faith…we have become a Destination.

  • December 16, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Coach Strong won’t be leaving, They for years kept saying Denny Crum would leave the instant UCLA job came open, he stayed, Coach Rick Pitino, was said to be leaving his first 8 years here, stayed, Coach Strong has the foundation, the support, the best AD in college history to work with, he will stay.

    The job isn’t done here yet, now in the ACC the real building can come, Coach Strong is not a coward, he is a fighter and a great coach, he can and WILL get the job done here.

  • December 16, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    If he goes he goes. Don’t think he will. Maybe Louisville will finally stop being a stepping stone for coaches wanting something else.

    Bridgewater saying he’s undecided about going to NFL. Decision after bowl game.

    Charlie – what are you hearing? What do you think – 25% chance he’ ll stay??

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Well, Charlie and Teddy have both indicated that he is thinking seriously about sticking around because of his long-time friends who are teammates. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s back next season.

  • December 16, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    One more question – what are you all hearing about Michal Cekovsky? Will he go to the Ville??

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      Is this a Bobby Knight trick question? I leave the recruiting to the coaches.

  • December 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Hey Charlie. About Texas, you say, “Lose two or three games and they’re already looking for a new coach.” And Mack Brown said Texas fans expect perfection. But as a Texas fan, I don’t believe that’s true.

    We don’t demand perfection. We just want effort. And if you’ve watched Texas over the last few years, you’ve probably seen it was lacking.

    That’s what makes Charlie Strong so appealing. His teams have fight in them.

    I realize Louisville is a great program and he’s happy there, but Texas would be crazy to not at least give Charlie Strong a call to gauge his interest.

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