Cards hire Charlie Strong

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WHAS11.com

Posted on December 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 10 at 12:58 AM

Poll:
Do you think Charlie Strong is a good choice for U of L's coach?

(WHAS11) - The University of Louisville has announced the replacement for the head football coaching position. 

Florida's Charlie Strong has been announced as the head coach.

The Personnel Committee of the University of Louisville Athletic Association Board of Directors met Wednesday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the announcement followed during a 4:00 p.m. news conference.
 
Strong was the defensive coordinator for the University of Florida.  With the Cards, Strong will  make $800,000 base salary with over $800.000 more in tv/radio endorsements and incentives based on performance.  The 5 year contract through 2015 could earn him over $5 million.

Charlie Strong said all the right things Wednesday.  The fans welcomed him with open arms.  Now all he has to do is win but first he had to get a head coaching job.  UofL is his first shot.

Strong said, “To become a head football coach has always been a long time dream of mine.  It has been my ambition. “

So, at age 49 and 27 years as an assistant, he wasn't sure it would happen.  Now that it has, it moved him more than he could imagine.

“When we were offered this job, me and my wife we looked at each other and we were so emotional because you just never knew or thought it would ever happen,” Strong said as he teared up at a press conference.

Athletic Director, Tom Jurich, says he talked to a lot of people about Strong and heard nothing but praise.

“I got so tired of listening to how great Charlie was so I went to Tony Dungy and said you've got to find me one negative.  Just find me one negative.  And Tony couldn't.”

Strong says he can't wait to being making his mark on this UofL program.

He said, “You know what the key is to get players and making sure they know you care about them.”
 
Louisville fired football coach Steve Kragthorpe after finishing the year at 4-8, the school's worst season in more than a decade.
After the announcement of Kragthorpe’s firing, Athletic director Tom Jurich said a national search would begin immediately. The list of candidates included Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, Charlie Strong and former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer.
 
Louisville completed its season Friday with a 34-14 loss to Rutgers. Kragthorpe went 15-21 in three seasons after replacing Bobby Petrino in January 2007. He had two years remaining on a contract that paid him about $1.1 annually.
 
Louisville failed to make a bowl game in any of Kragthorpe's three years. The Cardinals went 5-16 in the Big East during his stay while fan support eroded.

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