Former Texas football coach Charlie Strong is settling into his new job as the head coach of the South Florida Bulls and recently wrapped up his first spring football at the new school in Tampa.
And it’s a far cry from what he was used to in Austin and on the 40 Acres. Tampa Bay Times columnist Martin Fennelly captured the differences last week in a column highlighting the new world Strong finds himself in.
Strong held open practices to the media several times this spring, according to Fennelly, and often asked “where are the cameras.” He also explained why he couldn’t hold the same amount of open practices in Austin. (Read the quote, then you can blame Kirk Bohls and company):
“Austin, it was too much. … I’ve never opened practices like this before. I couldn’t do it in Austin because everybody would have critiqued every player on every play — ‘This guy is no good.’ “
Strong was apparently chuckling as he said this, then again, he did take the Texas job knowing that it had its own network and was the No. 1 sports show in town. Strong is eager to drum up excitement at South Florida, where he competes with local sports teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning, not to mention a state that has football powers who have some national championships in the last 20 years (Miami, Florida and Florida State).
He wants the media attention now, telling Fennelly: ” “Whatever I need to do, I’ll do it. I want our guys to get the recognition. … We don’t want to be second fiddle. We don’t have to be second fiddle.”
And of course, he mention cakes, again, but it’s not the cake he baked in Austin: “”I baked the cake (at Texas). I feel the same way here, with what (former South Florida coach Willie Taggart). He left me a good football team.”
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