Strong Heading to Louisville
Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is headed to Louisville to be the Cardinals head coach. Louisville hired Strong on Wednesday to help revitalize a program that sagged under former coach Steve Kragthorpe, signing him to a five-year contract that will pay him a base salary of $1.6
million a year. Strong's sturdy defenses helped Florida win two national
championships and for most of the past decade he has been
considered a potential head coach.
Yet as season after season passed without a viable opportunity to move up the coaching ranks, Strong admits he wondered if he was ever going to get the chance to lead his own program. "When we were offered this job, me and my wife (Victoria) and I looked at each other," Strong said fighting back tears, "because you just never thought it was going to happen."
Strong's first mission will be to win back a fan base that fled in droves as the Cardinals struggled under Kragthorpe, who was fired on Nov. 28 after going 15-21 in three seasons. Not that Strong is feeling the pressure. He's waited his entire life for the opportunity. He becomes the 11th black head coach in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the fourth hired in the last month "Even when I was a defensive coordinator, I thought 'If I do my job, it may not happen for me ... but it could pave the way for someone else,". Strong says he plans to be on the sidelines for the fifth-ranked Gators when they play #3 Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl. "I've been there, I still feel like I owe it to them,".
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