Strong to be announced as U of L football coach


by WHAS11 News

Posted on December 8, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 8 at 10:21 PM

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

(WHAS11) – WHAS11 News has confirmed that Charlie Strong will be named the next head football coach at the University of Louisville.

Sources say it is a "done deal".  Charlie Strong will be introduced as the Cardinals’ head football coach Wednesday.

The Athletic Association Personnel Board will meet at 3:30 to approve the terms of strong's contract, with a news conference to follow as early as 4 p.m. will stream that news conference live on our website.

Sources tell us the university was trying to fly Strong into town ahead of the bad weather forecasted Tuesday night and Wednesday.  Strong was in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was a finalist for the assistant football coach of the year, but did not win.

In a sign of how tightly controlled this information is, WHAS11’s Joe Arnold called one of the athletic association members Tuesday. That member did not know about the Wednesday meeting when asked about it.  

This member says though the personnel board needs to vote to approve the contract, they have already entrusted Athletic Director Tom Jurich with that responsibility.

WHAS11 has also learned of a possible bidding war for Charlie Strong. U of L officials were made aware that the University of Florida was preparing to offer Strong a higher title in the athletic department, perhaps a vice-presidency and more money. 

Strong would be leaving his position of defensive coordinator at the University of Florida where he's credited with building one of the top defenses in all of college football.

Strong makes approximately $300,000 per year at Florida but could earn better than $1 million per year at U of L once you factor in his radio and TV contracts as well as other incentives.

Previous reporting has indicated that Strong might accept less money if he believes that the job offer is the right fit and opportunity as a head coach.

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.

Do you think Charlie Strong a good fit for Louisville? Tell us what you think and vote in our poll to the right.