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Saturday, January 4, 2014
What hiring Strong would mean for Texas

By ESPN Stats & Information


AP Photo/Timothy D. EasleyCharlie Strong has led Louisville to bowl games in each of his four seasons as head coach


According to ESPN and media reports, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong is close to becoming the next head coach at the University of Texas.

Strong’s deal would reportedly be for five years and $25 million, according to SI.com. That would be a significant raise from the $3.7 million he made at Louisville this past season, making him one of a handful of coaches to earn at least $5 million annually.

The defense never rests
A highly regarded defensive coach, Strong turned Louisville into one of the top defensive teams in the country. During his four seasons, the Cardinals were in the top 10 in the FBS in points per game, yards per game, yards per play and sack percentage. In the three years before Strong’s arrival, Louisville ranked 75th or worse in each of those categories.

This season Louisville’s opponents converted an FBS-low 26.7 percent of third downs. Strong’s teams also featured sure tackling. The Cardinals defense allowed just 14 broken tackles, which led all schools from automatic-qualifying conferences this season. Louisville allowed just one touchdown of 20 or more yards this season, fewest in the FBS (Florida State ranks second with three).

Strong's defensive acumen should help the Longhorns on that side of the ball. The last two seasons Texas has allowed 186 rush yards per game; the previous eight seasons they allowed just 97 rush yards per contest.

Instant impact
Strong made the most of four seasons on the Louisville Cardinals sidelines. He took over a team that was six games under .500 in the three seasons preceding his hire in 2010. Strong led Louisville to a record of 37-15, including 12-1 this season. The 12 wins tied a school record.

With Strong, Louisville went 3-1 in bowl games and won two conference titles.

If hired by Texas, Strong would become the first black head coach in a major men’s sport at the university, according to The Dallas Morning News.