• October 31, 2014

Area coaches weigh in on hiring of Strong

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Posted: Sunday, January 12, 2014 4:30 am

On Monday, the University of Texas introduced Charlie Strong as its new head football coach. The prior four seasons, Strong was the head coach at Louisville and his teams had a combined record of 37-15.

“I don’t really know that much about him,” said Belton head coach Rodney Southern. “Obviously, he enjoyed a tremendous amount of success at Louisville. He seemed to be a tremendous professional when I was watching him on TV — and you must have that for that position at Texas. You have to be focused and act with professionalism.”

“I think it’s a good hire,” said Shoemaker head coach Channon Hall. “From everything I’ve read about Strong and everything I’ve heard about him, this is a coach who gets down to business, he gets down to teaching the fundamentals of the game.”

Once 16-year Longhorn head coach Mack Brown announced his resignation on Dec. 14, rumors of who would get the top spot in Austin ranged from Nick Saban to Jim Mora to Art Briles to Kevin Sumlin to just about any big-name coach who’d won at least a few bowl games.

“There are so many good college coaches out there,” said Hall. “I don’t think Texas would have gone wrong with any of those big names they were considering. Strong will have pressures, that comes with that job. But I think he’ll hold those kids accountable and they’ll play hard for him. That’s the main thing.”

Copperas Cove head coach Jack Welch said, “I don’t know a lot about Strong. He did well where he was. He seems enthusiastic about the job. Here’s the bottom line: He is walking into a very difficult job.

“He is replacing Mack Brown. ... A lot of times some of these big college schools get greedy. Texas has been playing at an extremely high level. Now if Charlie Strong goes 8-and-4 or 9-and-3 and just goes to a regular bowl, Texas will be worse off, because that’s what they had in Mack Brown. Things go in cycles. Mack was ready to take this thing back up.

“I do feel Charlie has the right demeanor. But he is in a pressure cooker of a job. The situation in Texas is that they let the alumni dictate things. But Charlie is a good guy and a good coach. He just might be the right guy for this job.”

Killeen head coach Sam Jones said, “When you look at Strong’s past record, you can see that he’s done a great job. He’s done a great job at Texas teaching two quarterbacks and he’s done a great job on defense.

“Mack Brown did a great job, but I think we’ll have to wait and see how Charlie Strong does for a while before judging him. Texas always finds a way to win and, under Strong, I think that will continue.”

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