Is Charlie Strong a candidate for the Miami job? He’d be better off staying put.
Amazing what a two-game win streak can do for a coach. Especially when that coach is Charlie Strong and he is in the middle of a rebuild at Texas.
Yet the rumors fly that Strong is a possible candidate for the University of Miami job following Al Golden’s dismissal today. The Hurricanes were embarrassed by Clemson on Saturday 58-0. It was Miami’s worst loss in the program’s 90-year history. Alumni were calling for Golden’s ousting as the points were piling up. On Sunday and Monday, the speculating began.
Strong denied any interest in the Miami job during Monday’s press conference.
“I have a great job here,” said Strong. “I have a job here. I got to get things done here.”
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It’s true. He does have a good thing going at Texas. The facilities are among the best in the country. He has boosters with deep pockets, you know, just in case the team needs some new weights or something. The fanbase supports Strong as he brings in his players while trying to get the best out of the remaining Mack Brown players.
Everything at Texas is a work in progress, one that Strong seems committed to see to completion. He wants to get the Longhorns back to the top.
It wasn’t looking like things were going to work out three weeks ago. The team stumbled to a 1-4 start after getting blown out 50-7 versus TCU. Like Golden, there were a few fans questioning whether Strong was the right man for the job. Kris Boyd’s retweets at halftime gave the impression of a rudderless program and that the coaches had lost the players. It was a tough week for Strong and his staff, answering questions about a lost locker room ahead of the Longhorn’s biggest conference rival, Oklahoma.
Beating Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown was big on several fronts. Aside from beating a hated rival, fans – and recruits – had a chance to see Strong had not lost the locker room. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Texas players surrounded Strong to celebrate the win. They hoisted him on their shoulders like the team had just won a national championship, not its second game of the season. The rebuild is still on track.
If he left for Miami, Strong would be taking a drastic pay cut. Al Golden was earning $2.5 million a year. Strong is at $5 million. Miami is a private school, with an enrollment of less than 20,000 students. NCAA sanctions have made it a tough place to coach since the days of Jimmy Johnson and Larry Coker. Besides competing with Florida State and Florida for recruits, the Hurricanes have to watch programs from around the country come in to the state to poach elite talent. Strong himself at one point had commitments from five Florida high school athletes this year. The mystique of Miami football has never come back from the sanctions levied on the program.
Strong’s name surfaced probably because he recruits Florida. He did this while at Louisville. His prized quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, hails from Miami. He has no ties to the university.
Strong will stay put and continue to build upon what he started in Austin. That two-game win streak has the Longhorns three wins away from becoming bowl eligible. Iowa State and Kansas are up next. It’s conceivable that Texas could be 5-4 going into the West Virginia game. Not many fans thought this would be possible three weeks ago. For Strong, he is right where he wants to be.
“I have the best job in the country.”