AUSTIN, Texas — Charlie Strong left a Louisville program that needed to punch its way into the national spotlight for the Texas Longhorns, who live with enormous wealth, swagger, political intrigue and championship expectations. And that’s just off the field.
On the field, he inherits a team mired in mediocrity with a 30-21 record over the past four years, but still talented enough to come within 30 minutes of winning a share of the 2013 Big 12 title.
Strong, 53, will be introduced as the Texas football coach Monday – the first black head coach of a men’s program at Texas. In a statement released by the school Sunday, Strong said he was excited to be taking over one of the “premier programs” in the country: “Texas is one of those places that is always on your radar and a program anyone would dream of being a part of because you have a chance to compete on a national level every year. It’s special because it has such great history, pride, tradition and passion for football.”
Strong’s teams went 23-3 the past two years.
LOUISVILLE: Athletic director Tom Jurich says he will move quickly to pick his next coach, and he hopes the hire will stay for the long term.
Jurich is keeping his options open for the “100 or 200” candidates he joked have shown interest in replacing Charlie Strong. Jurich didn’t mention potential candidates Sunday but said “everybody is in play.”
Losing Strong four days after star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he would enter the NFL draft wasn’t what Jurich expected with Louisville joining the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. But he believes the move will make for a stronger field of candidates.
“As we’re (going to) the ACC and it’s very strong, it’s going to be an added benefit for us,” Jurich said.
MIAMI: Coach Al Golden said Sunday that he is not a candidate for any other job, ending days of speculation. Golden’s statement did not specifically mention Penn State, his alma mater, which reportedly targeted him as a top candidate. University officials had no other immediate comment, though athletic director Blake James said throughout the process he was confident Golden would stay. Golden is 22-15 in three seasons at Miami.
BCS CHAMPIONSHIP: Bobby Bowden has a big decision to make today.
Stay in his hotel and watch Florida State’s quest for a third national title in peace, or drive out to the Rose Bowl, where he’ll probably miss the whole thing.
“A lot of people will be coming up to me, ‘Can you sign this? Can you take a picture with my girlfriend?’ things like that,” Bowden said. “And I have trouble saying ‘No.’ ”
Such is life for the 84-year-old, who remains the most recognizable Seminole there is.