Late Friday night the news broke that the Texas Longhorns could reportedly be close to hiring Louisville’s Coach Charlie Strong as their new head coach. The news hasn’t been made official yet, but by all accounts seems to be the lead guy at this point. The Longhorns let former Coach Mack Brown go as more of a forced resignation more than anything, despite Brown’s claim that he left on his own terms. Longhorns’ new athletic director Steve Patterson put together a search team to find the next Longhorns’ head coach and they have appeared to square in on Strong from the Louisville Cardinals.
The Longhorns had set the target date of hiring a new coach by at least January 15th. The Longhorns had a long list of candidates that they were considering and all very big time names with some very lofty resumes. Some of the names mentioned for the job in the past month were those of Jimbo Fisher, Gus Malzahn, Jim Harbaugh, James Franklin and of course the biggest name of them all Nick Saban. If the reports are true, first reported by Horns247, then Strong could come out the winner of the Texas’ coaching sweepstakes and inherit the best job in all of college football.
Strong was the former defensive coordinator for the Florida Gators under Urban Meyer. Strong was on the Gator staff that won the 2006 and 2008 national championship. The Gator defense in 2008, led by Strong, held Oklahoma to 14 points as the Gators won 24-14 in the national championship game. That 2008 Oklahoma Sooners’ offense holds the college football record for most points scored in a single season with over 700 total points scored in that ‘08 campaign. His defensive mindset is one of toughness and grit, something that has been missing from Texas since former defensive coordinator and coach in waiting Will Muschamp left for the Florida Gators’ head coaching job.
Strong was then hired by the Louisville Cardinals and led them to new heights never seen before. In the Sugar Bowl following the 2012 season his underdog Cardinals faced off against Strong’s former team, the Florida Gators. Strong and his Cardinals were heavy underdogs, but found a way to win handily against a Florida team that was a Notre Dame loss away from playing in the national title game. Strong did more with less at Louisville and at Texas that would no longer be an issue.
Strong would be a great hire for Texas and likely would be approved by most of the fan base and alumni. His toughness and no nonsense attitude will set well with a team that has been accused of being soft and not tough enough on a regular basis. He will come in and change the culture and attitude to a defense first mentality that hasn’t been in Longhorn nation in some time. One of the last great defenses Texas had was in their national title season of 2005, in which they only allowed a total of 213 points the entire season. Those days of hard hitting, aggressive and ball hawking defense from Texas could be on its way back with Strong as head coach.
The deal has NOT been made official yet and of course nothing will be final until the moment we see Strong, Patterson and school president Bill Powers in front of a microphone making the hire official. The next head coach of Texas is certainly expected to happen before January 15th and if it gets past that date then a name out of “left field” could be in store for Texas. I would personally be shocked if the next head coach of Texas isn’t Charlie Strong, but in the world of sports anything can happen. If reports are true, then the eyes of Texas are now upon Charlie Strong and the beginning of a very promising era could be underway for Longhorn nation.