Mixed Signals In Coaching Pursuit

And so we wait …

The prolonged suspense continues in hiring a successor to Steve Kragthorpe as football coach at the University of Louisville  with the principals in the mini-drama having gotten together on Sunday.breath

Fans left with no option but to hold their breath, trying to interpret the signals. Tom Jurich saying Florida wants to keep Charlie Strong and he has some more work to do.

The best clue may have been provided by Florida coach Urban Meyer when asked if Strong would coach in the Sugar Bowl game against Cincinnati.

“I am not sure until a decision is made at the University of Louisville,” he said.

Now does that mean the decision is up to U of L, or is it clumsy phrasing, just plain coach speak, or is he in the dark like the rest of us?

Take a deep one, exhale, wait.












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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.

11 thoughts on “Mixed Signals In Coaching Pursuit

  • December 7, 2009 at 11:33 am
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    I think Jurich wants Strong, but they have not finalized a contract. One component of the deal will govern the transition, and whether he coaches the bowl game or not. In my mind, Florida’s loss to Alabama helps us here, even if it took some of the sheen off the hire.

    Since he would most certainly have wanted to stay on for a National Championship game but may be willing to sever ties sooner if it only means missing the Sugar Bowl. This would simplify the deal a bit.

  • December 7, 2009 at 4:47 pm
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    Mr. Spock would say “Quite logical.” Of course that doesn’t guarantee accuracy. These things can take weird turns.

  • December 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm
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    After watching the SEC Title Game, I think U of L should go after Alabama’s Def Coordinator (Smart) and pass on Strong!! Bama abused Florida’ D.

  • December 7, 2009 at 6:11 pm
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    That Florida D looked pretty porous, kinda familiar looking, actually. Maybe their coordinator was distracted? Let’s hope.

  • December 8, 2009 at 8:44 am
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    They did indeed look a bit off, and that makes you wonder if he’d been daydreaming during prep. Maybe they just felt the loss of that kid who got the DUI more than expected.

    Anyway, is it just me or does anyone else wonder why no other teams are going after Strong? A lot of jobs are open, and it makes me wonder if ADs more or less split the prospects. I like the guy, but it makes you wonder.

    • December 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm
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      I don’t think it’s cause for wonder. Perhaps it’s respect for Jurich, knowing that Strong is his #1 guy? : ]

      No? Ok, here’s a factual explanation:
      What was the list of BCS job openings as of Saturday: Notre Dame, Louisville, Virginia & Kansas. Notre Dame is pursuing current successful Head Coaches and understandably so. Virginia signed a head coach yesterday with ties to the program (former UVA Def Coord) in Mike London, after a Jurich-esque coaching search that apparently was only 1 deep.

      So that leaves Kansas and Louisville as potential steppingstone jobs for an up-and-comer that Strong is touted to be. The Jayhawks could have myriad reasons why they aren’t interested in Strong…but one of the top issues is that one would think Kansas would prefer a coach with significant recruiting ties in the West/Midwest. To me, it should be no surprise that Strong isn’t one of their top candidates.

  • December 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm
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    It does make you woner why nobody else in in hot pursue of Strong! He was talen to the woodshed by Bama OC. I did not like the comments in the CJ today about SC being a players coach, because that’s what they said about both Kragthorpe and Cooper.

  • December 8, 2009 at 4:59 pm
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    Do not lose focus, Cardinal fans. Charlie Strong is a 3-time finalist for the Broyles Award (Assistant Coach of the Year), and has been labeled a “Top” recruiter by others. Additionally, Saturday results aside, Gator Nation has only good things to say about him…and how his players failed to make plays. I even read comments about how his schemes and play-calling were not the reason that Alabama hammered the Gators. Louisville is not a top-10 program, and will be fortunate to get a top-recruiting, high-character guy. …now, let’s just hope he can organize a nice tree of assistant coaches to carry us forward. The lack of talent and coaching savvy on the current team is palpable.

    • December 9, 2009 at 9:11 am
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      Someone is not doing his homework. Louisville has finished as a top 10 program during three of the nine seasons and started another in the top 10. That’s why Strong is being hired to get U of L back there. Gator Nation? Come on.

  • December 9, 2009 at 10:59 am
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    By your own comment, Louisville is not currently a top 10 program, and Strong is “being hired to get U of L BACK THERE”. Additionally, when a team finishes the season ranked in the top 10 for 3 out of 9 years it does not make their football PROGRAM elite. Top programs take decades to build. …such as as those at Florida, LSU, USC, Virginia Tech, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama…and others who are far more accomplished than UofL. Certainly, I agree that Louisville CAN BE one of the elite programs. My point here was that fans need to recognize that Charlie Strong is an exceptional, accomplished head coaching candidate who we should all be excited about. …rather than turning our noses because he has “this” or “that” detail on his resume’ that speaks to anything other than glaring success. …and, that the Louisville program is not the type that can expect John Wayne to come riding over the horizon to save the day.
    “Gator Nation” was my way of defining the HUNDREDS of positive fan comments I have heard or read from multiple Florida sources about Coach Strong, his skills, his successes, and his character. They are sorry to see him leave…and for good reason.

    • December 9, 2009 at 11:50 am
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      Clay, thanks for your comments and the endorsement. It sure is nice to have something to look forward to again.

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