Texas football coach Charlie Strong first tried to laugh off the Miami rumors in late October. But the speculation and gossip simply won’t go away, so he took a more serious approach after Wednesday’s practice.
“It’s all a rumor. We’re here to build a program,” Strong said of the possibility of a move to coach the Hurricanes.
Twice, Strong mentioned the full support of UT President Gregory L. Fenves and interim athletic director Mike Perrin. Those two “know what the situation is,” he said, and that the Longhorns have a bright future with a wealth of young talent.
Asked whether it bothers him that speculation that he’s being courted by Miami won’t go away, Strong said, “It does, because I have an unbelievable job here. I don’t know where it surfaces from. The thing I’ve got to do is just continue to work here and get this done.
“I have to be successful here, there’s no doubt,” he added. “There’s too many people counting on me to get it done. We have an unbelievable fan base here. I have the unbelievable support of our alums. We’ve got to get it done.
“I can see where it’s upsetting, because everyone’s disappointed,” Strong continued in what became a seven-minute press conference. “No one’s more frustrated than I am, because when you go out to play, you want to win. That’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to win football games.”
Strong is 10-13 in two seasons in Austin. He changed play-callers after the season-opening loss to Notre Dame, and it’s likely he’ll find another play-caller this offseason. Texas was 6-7 last year and is 4-6 with two regular season games to go; the program hasn’t suffered back-to-back losing seasons since 1988-89.
“We know that we’ve got to get things done here,” Strong said. “You know what you’re up against, and we know what the battle is. An we’ve just got to get better.”
Foreman surgery: Running back D’Onta Foreman will have surgery on Thursday to fix a broken right pinkie finger. Strong did not rule Foreman out of the Thanksgiving night game against Texas Tech.
Running back Johnathan Gray (foot) and Patrick Vahe (knee) are still day-to-day. They will be evaluated again during practice sessions this weekend.