It appears that Texas has their man. Charlie Strong should be officially named the new head football coach for the Longhorns today.
It’s a poorly-kept secret at this point, as just about every major news outlet has reported Strong’s hiring. Strong could be introduced as early as Monday. Reportedly Strong wanted to wait until he had spoken with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich before he accepted the job and that conversation took place Saturday night.
Some Texas fans are going to be disappointed because Strong isn’t a “huge” name. But Strong brings some significant assets with him. First, he’s been a winner at Louisville, going 37-15 as head coach. The Cards went to the Sugar Bowl after the 2012 season and went 12-1 in 2013. Strong’s reputation is built around defense and he helped create a great one at Louisville. He hires quality assistants. He also recruits well and his connections in Miami, cultivated during his days as a Florida assistant, will serve Texas well. Nearly 30 players on Louisville’s roster are from that area. Prepare for an influx of Miami-area talent in Austin, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Strong also makes history as Texas’ first African-American head football coach. I’m not sure I would see the day when both state flagship schools – Texas and Texas A&M – had African-American head coach at the same time.
Unfortunately for Louisville, Strong’s departure means there’s an opening for the Cardinals. Fortunately, thanks to Strong’s hard work and the school’s move to the ACC in 2014, this is now a very attractive job and it could lure a head coach away from another school, which, of course, would create another opening.
This was the domino effect I was talking about a couple of weeks ago related to the Texas job, depending on whom Texas hired.
That takes us to 17 FBS openings. As a public service, here’s the chatter surrounding the other openings:
Penn State: Speculation is circling around former Penn State players and coaches Mike Munchak (now fired by the NFL’s Tennessee Titans), Al Golden (head coach at Miami) and Greg Schiano (former coach at Rutgers and Tampa Bay).
Louisville: Anyone who has interviewed for jobs this year and hasn’t been hired, including Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. Three other names to watch (and these names were on our College Football America Coaching Carousel watch list in August) – Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth.
Georgia Southern: Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo is rumored to be connected to the job. But it’s only a rumor at this point. The Statesboro Herald has reported that two external candidates have interviewed for the job: Vanderbilt’s Brent Pry and Navy’s Ivin Jasper.
UMass: CBSSports.com has reported that two names have been “floated” for the job, the most significant being former NFL quarterback and Cleveland Browns coach Mark Whipple.
2014 FBS COACHING CAROUSEL
|Arkansas State||Bryan Harsin||Bruce Anderson|
|Army||Rich Ellerson||Jeff Monken|
|Boise State||Chris Petersen||Bryan Harsin|
|Bowling Green||Dave Clawson||Dino Babers|
|Connecticut||Paul Pasqualoni||Bob Diaco|
|Eastern Michigan||Ron English||Chris Creighton|
|Florida Atlantic||Carl Pelini||Charlie Partridge|
|Georgia Southern||Jeff Monken||TBA|
|Miami (OH)||Don Treadwell||Chuck Martin|
|Penn State||Bill O’Brien||TBA|
|Texas||Mack Brown||Charlie Strong|
|USC||Lane Kiffin||Steve Sarkisian|
|Wake Forest||Jim Grobe||Dave Clawson|
|Washington||Steve Sarkisian||Chris Petersen|
|Wyoming||Dave Christensen||Craig Bohl|