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Sources: Louisville’s Charlie Strong to take Texas Job

The American Athletic Conference’s Louisville Cardinals already have lost their star quarterback to the NFL as Teddy Bridgewater announced he would enter the 2014 NFL Draft in May. Now the Cardinals may lose their head coach Charlie Strong who was offered the head coaching job by the Texas Longhorns according to more than one media report.

As late as Friday night Strong told Tom Jurich the Athletic Director at Louisville that he had still not officially accepted the position with the Longhorns.

Strong said he wanted to discuss the situation with the Louisville AD and with James Ramsey the Louisville president on Saturday. One source said that Jurich was expected back on Saturday in Louisville from Colorado.

Strong just completed his fourth season at the helm in Louisville and his team completed its second consecutive double-digits victory campaign. Louisville had gone three consecutive seasons under .500 prior to Strong’s arrival and has since been 37-15.

Last season, Louisville qualified for a BCS Bowl and ended their season this year behind the talented Bridgewater with a record of 12-1.

On Friday, two other college coaches that Texas had been reportedly interested in talking to about their head coach vacancy – Jim Mora at UCLA and Art Briles at Baylor – both announced publicly they were remaining at their respective jobs.

Mack Brown stepped down from his coaching job at Texas following four consecutive seasons that have not lived up to the lofty expectations of school officials or trustees. This past season, the Longhorns finished a mediocre 8-5 including a loss to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl 30-7.

Strong was interviewed this past week by Steve Patterson, the Longhorns AD who replaced DeLoss Dodds this past November.

The Cardinals, who defeated Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl 36-9, have been characterized as having one of the best defenses in the country under the tutelage of Strong.

Over the four seasons Strong has coached, the Louisville defense is ranked No. 7 in the nation in points allowed per game, No. 6 in yards allowed per game, No. 10 in yards allowed per play and No. 3 in sack percentage.

Strong has been an assistant on two separate occasions for the Florida Gators. He was an assistant under Steve Spurrier first and then the defensive coordinator for Urban Meyer when Florida won two national titles.

The Cardinals program was turned around quickly by Strong after he was hired in 2010. The school will play starting next season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

If hired, Strong would be the first black head coach for the Texas football program and would inherit a program that desperately wants to return to its place amidst the elite football programs in the nation.

In 2005, the Longhorns under Brown won the national championship. They returned in 2009 to the national title game but lost. In 2010, Texas dropped to 5-7 and over the past three seasons have lost 3 more games in each season.

Over the past four seasons in the Big 12, the Longhorns are just 18-17 and the fans at Texas demand more from the country’s wealthiest athletic program that is located in the heart of the most fertile recruiting grounds for high school players in the nation.

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