Is Charlie Strong finished in Texas?
Things aren’t looking good for Charlie Strong.
Saturday’s 45-40 loss to Oklahoma means Texas is now 2-3 in the season. Strong, in his third season as the Longhorns’ head coach, has a 13-17 record. Fans and top brass alike are getting impatient. Some are saying the Longhorn-Sooner game sealed Strong’s fate.
The pressure’s on, but Charlie Strong isn’t letting it get to him – at least not outwardly. His secret? “You stick to it, especially here, because if you don’t, it will wear you down.”
That’s it – Charlie Strong’s work ethic in a nutshell.
It doesn’t hurt that his team is rallying around him. While this may not save his job at Texas, it could mean the turning point for the Longhorns’ season. UT President Greg Fenves and athletic director Mike Perrin both came out publicly last week in support of Strong, too. Those connections could help.
Or not. Because, ultimately, a head football coach’s job security lies in winning games. If you’re not winning games, it’s time to step down and let someone else have their shot at the big time.
Charlie Strong built his career at Texas on a strong defense – and now that defense has crumbled. It was just awful in Saturday’s game. If the Longhorns were thriving in defense, even if they weren’t winning games, Strong might get another season to prove himself.
But because Texas is such a hot seat for college football and the big-money boosters have their eyes on Houston coach Tom Herman, it’s looking like Charlie Strong won’t see a fourth year at UT.
No giving in
Charlie Strong isn’t going down without a fight, though.
He knows being a college football coach means living with uncertainty about the future. Part of the business of coaching is that people lose their jobs. The top brass only keep people around who can put butts in seats and dollars in pockets.
No, the pressure Charlie Strong is experiencing is of a much quieter, more personal kind.
“I look at it like this,” he told ESPN. “A lot of African Americans didn’t get this opportunity, and now that I did get it, there are so many people counting on me to be successful, and not just African Americans, but people who just never got a chance. Sometimes, I think it’s bigger than me. … You look at Texas and look at how big the Texas job is, and nobody wants to win more than I do. But if that opens doors for others, that’s a win for a lot of people.”