Online Now 606

New Sheriff in Town

As Horns247 was first to report Friday night, the University of Texas is prepared to make Charlie Strong its next head football coach, a high-ranking official told Horns247.

As Horns247 was first to report, Louisville's Charlie Strong will be hired as Texas' next football coach a high-ranking school official said.

That same source also told Horns247 that Texas and Strong have "agreed on terms."

According to published reports elsewhere, Strong is meeting with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich late Friday night. Strong, it is reported, has also scheduled a staff meeting at 9am ET Saturday morning.

When he's officially named to the post, the 53-year-old Strong will become the 29th head coach in the storied history of the Texas program. He replaces Mack Brown, the school's second-winningest head coach, who stepped down after 16 seasons at Texas on Dec. 14.

That same source told Horns247 that Texas and Strong have agreed to terms on a deal. According to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated the deal is for five years and will pay Strong around $5 million per season.

Strong's deal with Louisville pays him $3.7 million per year in base pay with a buyout of $4.375 million if he were to leave for another job prior to the summer of 2014.

Strong emerged from a pool of candidates that initially included Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers, Ohio State's Urban Meyer, Auburn's Gus Malzahn and Florida State's Jimbo Fisher.

In the days and weeks that followed from the time of Brown's resignation the pool dwindled. Texas' timeline, and the fact that it was said by sources close to him that he ultimately wouldn't take the job, eliminated Harbaugh from contention as he's taken the 49ers into the playoffs for the third year in a row.

Meyer was said to only use the job likely as leverage to potentially get a bigger and better deal from Ohio State. Horns247 reported recently that Malzahn was eliminated from contention.

Along with the never-ending speculation about Alabama's Nick Saban, Fisher remained the only viable option among the initial four. Strong, Baylor's Art Briles and UCLA's Jim Mora had emerged as legitimate options for the Texas job within the last week.

As of Friday, things had dwindled down to either Fisher or Strong with both Briles and Mora announcing either through their respective schools or through sourced reports they were removing their names from consideration for the job.

The job to revive the Texas program after a fourth-straight season of at least four losses and a third season over that same four-year period with five or more losses following a 30-7 Alamo Bowl loss to Oregon on Monday night falls at the feet of Strong.

Strong comes to Texas with a 37-15 career coaching record. That includes a one-game stint as the interim coach at Florida, but Strong's success at Louisville the past two seasons is hard to ignore.

Under Strong the Cardinals are 23-3, won the Big East in 2012, knocked off Florida in last year's Sugar Bowl, lost one game to eventual Fiesta Bowl champion Central Florida this season, and finished the 2013 season with a 36-9 systematic destruction of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

A long-time assistant coach with strong ties as a recruiter in southern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, the Batesville, Ark., native was named as a top-25 recruiter nationally by Rivals.com in 2007.

He's spent most of his coaching career in the Southeastern Conference. That run through the SEC included four separate stints at Florida, the last of which came from 2003-2009 as defensive coordinator.

While with the Gators as an assistant to both Ron Zook and Urban Meyer, Strong was a three-time finalist for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach, and was at his best in big games. In Florida's 2006 BCS title run, the Gators held Ohio State to just 82 total yards in the title game. In 2008, Strong's defense held an Oklahoma offense that was averaging 54 points per game to just 14 points and 363 total yards.

In Strong's run at Florida he developed and recruited seven first-round draft picks on defense and had a total of 18 players selected in the NFL Draft.

Prior to Florida, Strong served as the defensive coordinator at South Carolina (1999-2002) under Lou Holtz and also worked for Holtz for two years during a four-year stint at Notre Dame (1995-1998). Six of Strong's first nine years in coaching were spent at Florida with a two-year run at Southern Illinois and a one-year stay at Ole Miss mixed to his name.

Already have an account? Sign In