Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said Sunday he knew once he finally met with Charlie Strong, the coach had already made up his mind — Strong was going to Texas.
“I know he wanted to see me face to face, and I give a man a lot of credit for that,” Jurich said at a Louisville press conference. “I’ll have other days to ski. But I give him a lot of credit for that.”
Texas officials formally offered Strong the job on Friday, but Strong would not officially accept it until speaking in person with Jurich, the man who gave Strong his first head coaching opportunity.
UT officials were fine with that, but Jurich was stuck in Colorado and couldn’t return due easily due to inclement weather.
Saturday dragged on as Strong and Texas officials waited for the weather to clear so Jurich could return to Louisville. He finally did late Saturday, and Jurich and Strong met. A Louisville spokesman then told the American-Statesman that Strong informed Jurich he was leaving for Austin.
Texas had not released an official statement as of 11:30 a.m. Sunday, but that’s a mere formality at this point. School officials are targeting Monday morning for an introductory press conference.
Strong is expected to receive a five-year contract worth approximately $5 million annually. All contracts must be approved by the UT System Board of Regents. He’ll also become the first black head coach of any men’s sport in Texas history.
“He made it very clear; this had nothing to do with money,” Jurich said. “His results were fantastic but he did it the right way. He didn’t cut any corners.”
Jurich also said the Longhorns are getting a “very fine football coach.” Strong went 37-15 in four seasons at Louisville.
“I wished him well, him and his family, and I told him I give him an A-plus-plus for the way he changed the culture here,” Jurich said. “Not only from the football standpoint in wins and losses but the type of kids he recruited, type of coaching staff that he assembled, what they did academically. We had very few problems off the field.
“So I was very impressed with that and in my next hire, my ambition and intentions are to find somebody that will follow up and build on what Charlie’s built already.”
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