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New coach Charlie Strong isn't telling Texas fans what they want to hear. Instead, he's dishing up a heaping helping of realism for supporters as he heads into his first season as Longhorns coach.
"We have everything available, and I don't know why we can't be successful," Strong told fans in Fort Worth during the first stop on his bus tour, according to the Austin American-Statesman. "There's no reason for us not to be. Now, I can't tell you how soon it's going to be. Don't hold me to that. Don't say, 'Ooh, coach said next year we'll be in the national ...' We will not be in the national championship game."
Strong was hired in January from Louisville to replace Mack Brown, who registered 158 wins in 16 seasons at Texas. Strong told UT supporters that the culture will have to change after four consecutive seasons with at least four losses, including an 8-5 mark last year.
"A lot of our guys, they feel entitled and they get a little complacent because of where we are," Strong said. "So then as a coaching staff, that's why we have to be so conscious of when the guys feel they are a little better than what they are. It's all about building their confidence, and I tell them each and every day: 'You are a good football player. Don't let anyone tell you that you're not.'"
But worthy of contending for the national championship, especially with questions at quarterback entering the 2014 season? No, Strong said.
"He's not going to go around kissing babies," former UT coach David McWilliams told the American-Statesman of Strong. "And that's good. I know when coach [Darrell] Royal came in, all those guys after the first meeting said, 'Things are going to change around here.' And you're seeing the same thing."