Charlie Strong named 29th head football coach. http://t.co/w190q2PPeo
— Longhorn_FB (@Longhorn_FB) January 5, 2014
It’s official. The Red River Rivalry coaching battle has a new face in Texas’ corner.
The Texas Longhorns announced Sunday the school has hired Charlie Strong, the Louisville Cardinals head coach, as the new head of the program.
Strong gets the opportunity to take over the richest college football program in the nation with endless resources to be successful.
It has been rough times in Austin. Mack Brown has undoubtedly struggled to find ways to compete in the always changing Big 12 ever since Colt McCoy left the school following their 2009 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Title.
Brown finally decided to call it quits after a 2013 season not as humiliating as a few previous years, especially considering he got one more win on Bob Stoops in the Red River Rivalry.
However, Brown has resigned, and Strong is the new head coach in Austin.
Strong, a native of Batesville, Arkansas, takes over at the age of 53. He played football for Central Arkansas in the early 1980’s before beginning his coaching career in 1983 as a graduate assistant with the Florida Gators.
Strong had stints as an assistant with Florida, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and South Carolina before getting his first true head coaching job with the Louisville Cardinals in 2010.
He was able to get the Cardinals to bowl games all four years, winning a Beef O Brady’s, Russell Athletic, and a huge Suger Bowl win over the Florida Gators.
In conference play, Strong was 20-9, winning the Big East twice in 2011 and 2012.
Can Strong compete in the Big 12? Well, that may not be answered for a few years.
He has a tough game with the UCLA Bruins next year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. He will, also, have trips to Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and of course the big one in Dallas between the Sooners and Horns.
Was it a solid hire? Yes. Was it Texas’ first or second option? Not at all.
The fans wanted a Nick Saban or Jimbo Fisher, but Texas Football is still Texas Football.
Strong will be placed on college football’s biggest pedestal, and for Texas fans, he is going to need to embrace everything that comes with the job.
There is a lot of pressure to win now, because the team has been down for so long, but losing a few key seniors could make his first year in burnt orange very interesting.
Hopefully, Oklahoma and the rest of the Big 12 can cash in before Charlie Strong gets things figured out in Austin, because it’s only a matter of time before Texas gets out of this funk.