Since the news broke late Friday about Louisville Cardinals football coach Charlie Strong being reported to be the next coach of the Texas Longhorns, it’s been a whirlwind of news in the region. As of Saturday night, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich met with Charlie Strong. Strong told Jurich that he would be accepting the job offer at Texas.
Football is king in Texas. Everybody knows that. Strong would be the main guy on campus especially since Rick Barnes seems to be on the hot seat year in and year out.
When the Tennessee Volunteers went after Strong last year, he was able to leverage their interest into a pay raise. Strong may have passed on the opportunity to coach in the SEC but nobody seems to forget that football is #2 in Louisville to college basketball. Nobody will ever forget just how he treated the media during spring practice when both Louisville and Kentucky were making runs to the Final Four. Remember how he banned them from covering spring football practice?
It’s not so much what happens with the Class of 2014 but the Class of 2015 and beyond. If Kentucky Wildcats coach Mark Stoops and company is able to turn some of these potential Cardinals into Wildcats, it would be a big coup for the Cats.
Reports on Twitter suggest many have re-opened their recruitment back up while some have decided that they will stay around. It will be up to the next coach to decide if they will honor the scholarship or tell them to look somewhere else.
It’s always possible that some of their players decide to transfer as Strong was the main reason that a player decided to go to Louisville. We’ll see what happens.
Here’s the part I don’t get: people saying Charlie Strong wasn’t loyal and then call for Louisville to bring back Bobby Petrino. Petrino and loyalty in the same sentence is where it doesn’t make sense.
Since the Howard Schnellenberger era (1985–1994) came to an end following the 1994 season, here’s how long Louisville coaches have stayed on the job:
Ron Cooper: 1995-1997, 3 seasons, fired
John L. Smith: 1998-2002, 5 seasons, accepted job to coach the Michigan State Spatans
Bobby Petrino: 2003-2006, 4 seasons and left for the NFL only to go to Arkansas before the NFL’s 2007 was finished
Steve Kragthorpe: 2007-2009, 3 seasons, fired
Charlie Strong: 2010-2013, 4 seasons
In this time frame, the longest-serving Kentucky Wildcats football coach was Rich Brooks, who retired in 2009 after 7 seasons.
From a rivalry perspective, it will be important to just watch it all play out and see who they go after. Louisville brought in Strong after dismissing Steve Kragthorpe, who finished his Louisville years with a dismal record of 15-21 in 3 seasons.