LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Multiple national outlets are beginning to report with unanimity -- Charlie Strong is expected to announce that he will take the head-coaching job at the University of Texas tomorrow, with a news conference scheduled on Monday.
CBS Sports, ESPN, The Sporting News and USA Today were among those who cited Texas sources as saying that a deal had been worked out. Officials at the University of Louisville tonight told WDRB that they had not yet received that word from Strong and that they had nothing to announce.
U of L athletic director Tom Jurich was working to return from Colorado where he was on vacation. A plane sent to get him was diverted, and his arrival plans back in Louisville were uncertain because of weather conditions.
Charlie Strong's concerns with the employment situation at Texas, however, appear to have been smoothed out.
Joe Schad of ESPN reported that Clint Hurtt, Strong's recruiting coordinator at Louisville and one-time associate head coach will not be making the move with him to Texas. Hurtt received heavy NCAA sanctions for his role in recruiting violations at the University of Miami and is under a show-cause order that would require any new employer to appear before the NCAA's committee on infractions to justify his hiring.
There has been no other clear word on which assistants might follow Strong to Texas, or how many.
A source told WDRB that Strong notified Jurich of the Texas offer late Friday, but told Jurich he had made no final decision. He met with his coaching staff this morning and told coaches that he is still undecided. The entire staff was present at this morning's meeting.
A source with knowledge of the negotiations told WDRB's Rick Bozich that Strong was truly conflicted as of Saturday morning, and that it wasn't questions over assistant coach Clint Hurtt or money that were causing him any kind of problem.
"I really don't think he knows," the source said. "He's trying to decide. I think he'll talk to people he trusts, like Lou Holtz."
Another source told WDRB's Eric Crawford that Hurtt was a sticking point.
Tonight's reporting puts things roughly where they were 24 hours ago, when two Texas sources, Bobby Burton of 24/7Sports and Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com, reported late Friday night that Strong would replace Mack Brown as the UT coach. Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported that Strong was the pick to replace Brown and that he would be paid $25 million over five seasons. Brown was forced out of the position in December after 16 years (and one national title).
The Austin American-Statesman reported that Strong had been offered the job, but that no decision had been made. The paper that said Alabama coach Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State were no longer being considered. Art Briles of Baylor and Jim Mora of UCLA were also out of consideration. James Franklin of Vanderbilt appeared to be the back-up choice, if Strong declined the offer.
Only five seasons ago, Strong appeared to be a career assistant at Florida, who was turned down for the head coaching jobs at Minnesota and California and could not get an interview at Mississippi State.
One source close to Strong and his staff told WDRB's Rick Bozich that among Strong's frustrations at Louisville was a poor crowd at the program's Senior Day game against Memphis, which turned out to be Teddy Bridgewater's final home game as well. The announced attendance of 46,421 was, by most estimates, larger than the actual number, and the source said Strong mentioned that game specifically as a disappointment.
Saturday, August 30 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:51:46 GMT
The University of Kentucky football team got some big plays from young players and a steady start from quarterback Patrick Towles to pound Tennessee-Martin 59-14 in their first season opener at home since 2007.More >>
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Tuesday, August 26 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-27 02:16:12 GMT
Teddy Bridgewater says thank you to U of L students in an ad in its student paper. Eric Crawford photo.
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