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Charlie Strong's Last Ride (By Daniel Seahorn)


Mike Roach
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Charlie Strong made the hashtag #LetsRide popular in Austin and within the state of Texas, but that hashtag died right alongside his tenure as head coach of the University of Texas football team in Lawrence, Kansas tonight. #LetsRide? It was more like the #LastRide for Charlie Strong and his staff after an embarrassing 24-21 overtime loss to a Kansas team that hadn’t won a conference game since 2014 and had not notched a win against Texas since 1938.

 

This is going to read something like Charlie Strong’s obituary, and at this point, it is pretty fitting because he’s a dead man walking to the University of Texas’ fans and the proverbial casket has already been picked out and sized for him. Charlie Strong is a good man with good values, and is a coach that players love playing for and that they personally love. He took on a tough task in a tough time for a struggling program, and was tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding it, essentially from scratch. Struggles were expected along the line of the rebuild, but at a place like Texas, results are not only needed, but are expected. Struggling was expected as Strong and his staff tried to restock the pantry, build up the depth chart, and most importantly, find a quarterback. Strong has successfully done these things given how well he and his staff have recruited over the past two recruiting cycles. Within the last cycle, they found a gem in freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, who is looking like the answer to the Longhorns’ quarterback problem.

 

Despite recruiting talent to campus, the Longhorns went 5-7 in 2015 and are now looking at 5-7 for the second year in a row after today’s debacle in Lawrence. There was talk of Strong maybe saving his job if he went 8-4 or 7-5, but I think the latter was lip service, all things considered. Folks in Austin have had eyes for Houston’s Tom Herman for some time now, and there has been an increasing amount of chatter with Strong’s seat reaching “7th layer of hell” hot this season. With Herman and Houston dominating Heisman front runner Lamar Jackson and Louisville on Thursday, and Texas adding another very embarrassing loss to the resume, it should all become academic at this point.

           

With things trending in the wrong direction for some time, I never got on board with firing Strong in the middle of the season, as I felt it was pointless and there wasn’t a coach on staff prepared to wear the interim tag for the rest of the season. Well, it isn’t exactly midseason any longer, but after today’s performance, I don’t see how Strong is able to continue being the head coach past Monday or Tuesday of next week. At this point, optics no longer matter (for some they have never mattered) and the final game (or games) are pointless. At the University of Texas, you don’t get to lose games against Iowa State and Kansas in consecutive seasons and expect to keep pulling in 5 million bucks a year. The standard is high (probably ridiculously high) at Texas, but you know what you are getting yourself into when you sign on the dotted line.

          

  I feel bad for Coach Strong because I feel like he’s a good man and he didn’t back his way into the job at the University of Texas. You don’t get where he got by being bad at what you do. The truth is, he just isn’t what the University of Texas needs right now and parting ways is the best thing for all parties involved. I feel bad for the players because they obviously love Coach Strong and love playing for him. It’s obvious they are heartbroken about the pending termination of the man they signed up to play for. I especially feel bad for guys like D’Onta Foreman who logged 50 (!!!!) carries and wasn’t rewarded for his effort despite a coaching staff riding him into the ground down the home stretch. The players are going to be upset and justifiably so, but they deserve better and deserve to be rewarded for the effort that they are exerting on a daily and weekly basis. Unfortunately for them, better requires a change at the top with a new face and voice.

           

This is the end of the road for Charlie Strong in Austin. I don’t love the man any less, but the time has come to close the casket, drive to the grave plot, and bury this coaching tenure six feet under. Thanks for the good times, Coach. While there weren’t a ton of them, we still thank you for taking on a tough task, running a tight ship, and cleaning up the program. It didn’t work out in Austin, but best of luck to you at your next stop. This will likely be my last time writing on anything involving Strong and Texas. It’s all over but the crying, folks. And for some, I think it is more than safe to say there won’t be any tears or grieving.

#LastRide 



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Charlie Strong made the hashtag #LetsRide popular in Austin and within the state of Texas, but that hashtag died right alongside his tenure as head coach of the University of Texas football team in Lawrence, Kansas tonight. #LetsRide? It was more like the #LastRide for Charlie Strong and his staff after an embarrassing 24-21 overtime loss to a Kansas team that hadn’t won a conference game since 2014 and had not notched a win against Texas since 1938.

 

This is going to read something like Charlie Strong’s obituary, and at this point, it is pretty fitting because he’s a dead man walking to the University of Texas’ fans and the proverbial casket has already been picked out and sized for him. Charlie Strong is a good man with good values, and is a coach that players love playing for and that they personally love. He took on a tough task in a tough time for a struggling program, and was tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding it, essentially from scratch. Struggles were expected along the line of the rebuild, but at a place like Texas, results are not only needed, but are expected. Struggling was expected as Strong and his staff tried to restock the pantry, build up the depth chart, and most importantly, find a quarterback. Strong has successfully done these things given how well he and his staff have recruited over the past two recruiting cycles. Within the last cycle, they found a gem in freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, who is looking like the answer to the Longhorns’ quarterback problem.

 

Despite recruiting talent to campus, the Longhorns went 5-7 in 2015 and are now looking at 5-7 for the second year in a row after today’s debacle in Lawrence. There was talk of Strong maybe saving his job if he went 8-4 or 7-5, but I think the latter was lip service, all things considered. Folks in Austin have had eyes for Houston’s Tom Herman for some time now, and there has been an increasing amount of chatter with Strong’s seat reaching “7th layer of hell†hot this season. With Herman and Houston dominating Heisman front runner Lamar Jackson and Louisville on Thursday, and Texas adding another very embarrassing loss to the resume, it should all become academic at this point.

           

With things trending in the wrong direction for some time, I never got on board with firing Strong in the middle of the season, as I felt it was pointless and there wasn’t a coach on staff prepared to wear the interim tag for the rest of the season. Well, it isn’t exactly midseason any longer, but after today’s performance, I don’t see how Strong is able to continue being the head coach past Monday or Tuesday of next week. At this point, optics no longer matter (for some they have never mattered) and the final game (or games) are pointless. At the University of Texas, you don’t get to lose games against Iowa State and Kansas in consecutive seasons and expect to keep pulling in 5 million bucks a year. The standard is high (probably ridiculously high) at Texas, but you know what you are getting yourself into when you sign on the dotted line.

          

  I feel bad for Coach Strong because I feel like he’s a good man and he didn’t back his way into the job at the University of Texas. You don’t get where he got by being bad at what you do. The truth is, he just isn’t what the University of Texas needs right now and parting ways is the best thing for all parties involved. I feel bad for the players because they obviously love Coach Strong and love playing for him. It’s obvious they are heartbroken about the pending termination of the man they signed up to play for. I especially feel bad for guys like D’Onta Foreman who logged 50 (!!!!) carries and wasn’t rewarded for his effort despite a coaching staff riding him into the ground down the home stretch. The players are going to be upset and justifiably so, but they deserve better and deserve to be rewarded for the effort that they are exerting on a daily and weekly basis. Unfortunately for them, better requires a change at the top with a new face and voice.

           

This is the end of the road for Charlie Strong in Austin. I don’t love the man any less, but the time has come to close the casket, drive to the grave plot, and bury this coaching tenure six feet under. Thanks for the good times, Coach. While there weren’t a ton of them, we still thank you for taking on a tough task, running a tight ship, and cleaning up the program. It didn’t work out in Austin, but best of luck to you at your next stop. This will likely be my last time writing on anything involving Strong and Texas. It’s all over but the crying, folks. And for some, I think it is more than safe to say there won’t be any tears or grieving.

#LastRide 

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Very good post sir.  We had so many hopes for his tenure and especially for this year.  Started out so well and ended so devastatingly.  All we can do is pray for the best decisions to be made, hope for success, and continue to support.  

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I think Charlie would've been back at 7-5 after beating Kansas and TCU. I was hopeful that is what was going to happen. Saturday of course was the last straw for me. I've wanted him to succeed and get the program headed back in the right direction but Saturday broke me. Let him finish out the season Friday and hope for a win against TCU and get a bowl invite. After that ( and probably before the bowl game) Charlie should be packing his office up to leave.

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