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Charlie Strong talks to Louisville reporter about leaving.


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This article gives good insight into the integrity that Charlie Strong brings with him to UT. This is now the second article where I have seen evidence of this. This will go over very well here with fans and recruits.

 

This is from a reporter at the Courier-Journal:

 

 

When you’re frustrated or upset, it’s convenient and sometimes even comforting to place some blame on whatever you’re frustrated or upset about.

 

So it has been with some Louisville fans and their former favorite football coach, Charlie Strong. When the news broke that Strong had accepted the University of Texas coaching job, the displeasure reverberated across the social media ether.

 

People understood that any coach is free to go to any job, but these two main points of contention emerged:

 

First, Strong had constantly preached about loyalty, but what was loyal about jumping ship? Second, Strong had never met with his team to tell them he was departing. Instead, they’d found out for the most part via Twitter. And then on Sunday, Strong had hopped a plane to Texas.

 

The criticisms had their flaws. For example, if someone says they’re loyal to their employer, does that mean they’re supposed to stay there forever? Still, the apparent frustrations of fans and even current players also had validity.

 

On Sunday afternoon, I sent Charlie Strong a text message. I told him there was a perception that he had left U of L without showing his players the respect they deserved. I asked him to explain his side

I wasn’t expecting to hear back, because Strong isn’t a coach that really loves responding to calls and text messages from reporters. And I figured his focus was now on his new challenge, not his old one.

 

About an hour later the phone rang. It was Charlie. You can sometimes tell when someone is upset or concerned just by the tone of their voice. Well this sounded like that.

 

“It’s really tough on me,†Strong said. “It’s tough because I recruited them and I don’t want anything but the best for them. It’s hard for me. It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made.â€

 

“I know there’s some hard feelings, and that’s what I didn’t want is hard feelings. I just don’t want them to feel like ‘Coach Strong ran out on us.’ Some people are going to feel like that, but I don’t want that feeling.â€

 

He explained that he’d been unable to schedule a meeting to talk to his players about the situation because they’d been on Christmas break. As of Sunday night, some had yet to return and he was in Texas, preparing for his press conference on Monday.

 

But as Strong spoke, he sounded at once sad and flustered and overwhelmed. Of course he was excited for his new job, his new opportunity, but it also seemed like the realization was setting in that he was leaving something special behind, too.

 

Maybe I was reading too much into his tone or maybe I was being duped by his words, but I don’t think so.

 

Strong said he had spoken to many players over the phone. He acknowledged that some were upset, because the coach who had recruited and guided them was leaving; others were happy for him.

 

After about five minutes, Strong cut the conversation short and said he had to call me back. I figured that was his way of getting off the phone, because some Texas booster or whoever needed his time.

 

About 10 minutes later, he called back. He’d hung up because U of L linebacker James Burgess was calling to offer his congratulations, which says a lot about Burgess.

 

Anyway, Strong called back because he just wasn’t finished talking about how much he appreciated Louisville, how much this city and this university will always mean to him, even if this was an uncomfortable goodbye.

 

The coach scrolled through his personal collection of Cardinals greatest hits, from suspenseful victories over Cincinnati to the Sugar Bowl against Florida to last month’s bowl game against Miami. He talked about how proud he was of his team, seeing their development both as players and as people.

 

“You always want to feel like the program is in better shape than it was when you went into the program,†Strong said, “and I think that’s what we’ve done.

 

LINK: http://www.courier-journal.com/artic...TS02/301050052

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I like that he understood that while this was a good move for him, he understood what and who he was leaving behind. It is easy for us to say that it is a no brainer to come to Texas as a football coach, but there are a lot of personal connections that he had to UL, the staff, the players, etc. I feel much better about having someone that did care about that rather than say FU and bye.

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