Charlie Strong will be the next head coach at Texas, according multiple reports out of Austin (and we are being told the same). Sources told FootballScoop Friday afternoon that Strong and Vanderbilt's James Franklin were the finalists for the job and that a recommendation would be made to the powers that be at Texas tonight. If accepted, the offer would be extended and was expected to be accepted as presented. We were told that if it was Strong, it would be announced tomorrow morning and if it was James Franklin it would be announced after their game Saturday.
Strong's contract will be five years for around $5 million per year according to Pete Thamel of SI.com.
If Texas athletics director Steve Patterson was after a culture change, he found it in Strong. Where Mack Brown was at his best in front of television cameras and boosters, Strong is regarded as a football coach first, second and third.
Whether or not Strong is comfortable in that limelight is now irrelevant. He just accepted at a job at one of the premier programs in college football. Like it or not, he's now one of the five most visible coaches in the sport.
On the other side of that coin, Texas hires a coach that can transfuse a new attitude into a program that had grown stagnant since dropping the 2010 BCS National Championship.
Strong recently completed his fourth season as Louisville's head coach, leading the Cardinals to a 12-1 season and a win over Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Overall, Strong guided Louisville to a 37-15 record with a share of two Big East championships.
Louisville turned in one of the best defensive seasons in college football this fall, ranking second in scoring defense, first in total defense, third in defensive yards per play, first in rushing defense and fourth in pass efficiency defense.
Prior to his arrival in Louisville, Strong spent nine seasons as a defensive assistant at Florida, coaching linebackers and serving as defensive coordinator. In his final season in Gainesville, Strong helped Florida rank fourth nationally in scoring and total defense and seventh in yards per play. A native of Batesville, Ark., Strong's experience in Texas is limited to one year as a Texas A&M graduate assistant in 1985; expect him to make an effort to hire or retain Texas recruiting experience when filling out his staff.
Strong's departure from Louisville means 17 FBS jobs have now come open this season. Louisville joins Penn State, Massachusetts and Georgia Southern as the only vacant positions.
As always, we will have more updates as they become available.