With the bowl season now in its post-New Years day period, the Texas head football coach search appears to be shifting into a higher gear.
According to a report in the Austin American-Statesman, Texas AD Steve Patterson interviewed Louisville head coach Charlie Strong following the Russell Athletic Bowl. As you might expect given the nature of the job hunt, the interview took place at “an undisclosed location” with Strong being told he is one of several candidates the program is considering.
Other schools have pursued Strong in previous seasons, but this is the first time he is believed to be considering a move. In addition to Strong’s contributions, Louisville’s recent success is indebted to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With Bridgewater moving on to the NFL this spring, the timing might be right for Strong to move to a bigger program like Texas.
The Statesman also discussed Baylor head coach Art Briles’ interest in the Texas job. According to a source, Briles “would accept the Texas job if offered.” Baylor football has experienced its greatest success under Briles, who oversaw the school’s first Heisman trophy winner in Robert Griffin III and nearly took the program to its first national championship game this year. However, Briles employs an offensive system that might be too “gimmicky” in the eyes of Patterson and Texas. Baylor has also struggled with penalties, committing 17 in Wednesday’s Fiesta Bowl (one short of the bowl’s all-time record).
Whatever the case may be, Texas shouldn’t be without a head coach much longer. With only a few more bowl games remaining — the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl chief among them — college candidates will soon be available to meet with Texas. Additionally, NFL coaches that Texas might consider are either freshly available or could be in the coming weeks. With the head coach search essentially Patterson’s first big act as AD, he won’t allow the search to stretch past January.