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Charlie Strong gets contract extension

Louisville coach Charlie Strong has agreed to a seven-year contract extension that bumps his salary to $2.3 million annually through 2018.

The Louisville athletic association met Tuesday and approved the extension. Under his old deal, Strong got $1.6 million a year.

"I like the direction the program is going in," athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement. "I’ve evaluated Charlie from A to Z and have been impressed how he handles this program. I like what he stands for and I’m impressed by his work ethic and passion. I see nothing but positives going forward and like what he is trying to establish at Louisville. I told Charlie when I hired him that I wanted him to build a program and I’m excited by the future. It’s easy to see how the student-athletes have bought into his system both on and off the field. I think we have some great young talent in this program and they play very hard."

Strong was hired in December 2009 and led the Cardinals to a 7-6 season in 2010. But this year they are struggling with a young team and off to a 2-4 start. Still the extension goes a long way toward showing how committed Louisville is to Strong and building a solid football program.

“I’m also grateful for the commitment and faith Tom and our administration have shown in me to make this extraordinary commitment to me and my family," Strong said in a statement. "Tom hired me to build a program, and my staff and I are working extremely hard to make the community and our fans proud of this program in all aspects. The University of Louisville is the place I want to be, and most importantly, is where my family wants to be. This contract is very humbling and I’m looking forward to putting a winning program on the field for our outstanding loyal fans.”