Strong Era Ends As He Accepts Texas Job - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Strong Era Ends As He Accepts Texas Job

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Charlie Strong told Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich that he has accepted the Texas football job. Charlie Strong told Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich that he has accepted the Texas football job.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Charlie Strong's successful four-year run as the University of Louisville football coach has ended. Strong informed U of L athletic director Tom Jurich that he was taking the job at Texas just before 11 p.m. Saturday. The Longhorns are expected to pay Strong $25 million for the next five seasons.

Strong will succeed Mack Brown. He is expected to be introduced in Austin on Monday and represent the school later that night on the BCS Championship game telecast on ESPN from Pasadena, Calif.

Jurich flew back from Colorado to meet with Strong face-to-face. He will begin working on hiring Strong's replacement immediately.

This will be the fifth head football coach Jurich has hired since arriving from Colorado State in 1997. He replaced Ron Cooper with John L. Smith after that season and Louisville immediately competed in five consecutive bowl games.

When Smith left for Michigan State in 2002, Jurich hired Bobby Petrino, who worked at U of L for four seasons before leaving for the Atlanta Falcons. Petrino went 41-9 and won the 2006 Orange Bowl.

Petrino was followed by Steve Kragthorpe, who was fired after three non-winning seasons.

Jurich hired Strong from Florida, where he had served as the defensive coordinator on two BCS championship teams for the Gators. Strong was 49 and had been a career assistant, unable to land head coaching positions at Michigan State, Mississippi State, Minnesota, California and several other schools.

Jurich received solid recommendations from several head coaches as well as Seth Hancock, Strong's friend from Claiborne Farms in Paris, Ky.

The fit seemed perfect. Strong and his assistant coaches recruited Florida relentlessly, signing top prospects like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, defensive back Calvin Pryor, receiver Eli Rogers and others.

After the Cards won only 15 games during the three-year Kragthorpe Era, Strong went 7-6 in 2010, punctuating the year with a victory in the Beef O'Brady Bowl. Another 7-6 season followed in 2011, although the Cards lost the Belk Bowl. Over the last two seasons, Louisville has won 23 of 26 games, defeating Florida in the Sugar Bowl and Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28.

At Texas, Strong will replace Mack Brown, who was forced to resign last month after winning 158 of 193 games in 16 seasons. Brown won the BCS title in 2005.

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