By Paul Sykes

Speaking at the monthly meeting of the Sportmen’s Supper Club on Wednesday, Charlie Strong made  very clear in his 25-minute talk that he’ll only accept one thing out of his University of Louisville football players this fall.

Their best.

The conclusion was inescapable for the 200 fans in attendance: Bring it or go elsewhere. Maximum effort will go hand-in-hand with high expectations and coaches who are here to win.

“I can’t tell you what our record will be this year yet,” he said. “That and whether we’ll beat Kentucky are the two most questions people ask me.”

Strong confided, however. “What I will tell you is that I’ll have a team on the field that will give me and the fans 100 per cent. Or, they won’t be out there.  Don’t know who will be my starting quaterback yet but I will tell you it’ll be the guy who does the best job this fall in practice”

Strong offered a few glimpses into some decision he has made since arriving on the U of L Campus, including moving of Darius Ashley from offense to defense.

“I like him over there,” said Strong. “He made the commitment, he’s down to about 180-185 pounds and he looks like a defensive back. I think he’ll please us, the fans and himself with the commitment.”

On Doug Beaumont:

“I told him: You take one to the end zone this year, and yeah, I’ll let you spike it. (The remark drew the biggest round of laughter of the evening.)

On Josh Chichester:

“He’s 6-foot-9. He should be able to catch something, shouldn’t he? He’ll get a chance to prove it to us”

On the season ahead:

“We have seven home games. Seven chances for you to get out there and get behind this team. I want you out there supporting these guys. We’re going to do everything we can to get them ready. You get behind them.”

*     *    *

Charlie Strong is not a care free distributor of words. Each one counts, like he hopes each action by his defensive and offensive does. He tells you in plain, simple and clear English what he expects. He knows that he didn’t inheirit a ton of returning talent.

He believes he can make what he has better, make them try hard and he is confident he can build upon what he has each year. He is grateful for his chance to finally wear the head coaching cap. He is putting his all into it and he has high standards.

That, alone, should please Louisville fans this upcoming season. He’s here to get the job done. He expects the same out of those who will coach with him and play for him. He is driven and determined.

Cardinal fans, we are fortunate to have him. Let him know. This isn’t a waffling, iffy, introspective Steve Kragthorpe. This is Charlie Strong coming at you, all barrels blazing and ready to settle this thing.

I have a feeling he will, much to the satisfaction of those watching and waiting.

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By Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes owns Paul Sykes Advertising and does contract work for other advertising and publishing firms. The proud husband of Sonja, he has a fascination with bears, bars and Cardinal sports. He's also the moderator of

5 thoughts on “Charlie Strong will accept only best effort”
  1. The man does not mince words as Paul writes. This guy makes you want to get out break some bones. Yes!!!

  2. Great read Paul, thanks I am so looking forward to Coach Strong getting our CARDS
    back on track!

  3. Charlie clearly understands what it takes to win. he knows that it takes hard work not just from the players and coaches but also from the fans. If everyone follows coach Strongs instructions to the T then we will one day be back to were we would all like to be. There isn’t a better coach in the country for The University of Louisville.

  4. I think the players we have are far better than anyone thinks, and this team will be far better than anyone expects.

    Strong’s ability to create schemes that actually work, and maximize talent, plus his apparent motivational skills, should bring us back quickly.

    Key difference between Strong and Krags–the former knows what right looks like. He has seen champions made, and knows how it works.

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