One of college football’s best head coaches takes over at USF
USF has hired Charlie Strong as the man who will replace Willie Taggart as the fourth head coach of the Bulls. He was the man that USF A.D. Mark Harlan, wanted from the start and a great deal of credit must go to him for landing such a quality coach like Strong.
CBS College football analyst Adam Silverstein was quick to react to the news.
Charlie Strong to South Florida is the No. 1 coaching hire this cycle. Don’t @ me otherwise.
— Adam Silverstein (@SilversteinAdam) December 11, 2016
In a press release the school and strong confirmed the hire.
“Charlie is a tremendous leader and mentor for our student-athletes and a widely-respected coach with a resume full of achievements at the highest levels of college football,” athletic director Mark Harlan said in a USF news release. “He combines a drive to win with great integrity and deep, long-standing connections in the state of Florida. The future of USF football is very bright under his direction.”
“I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this football program to even greater heights,” Strong said in the release.
“I would like to thank President Genshaft and Mark Harlan for their confidence and belief in me,” Stong said. “I am humbled that we have a shared commitment to take this university and this football program to even greater heights. Some of the best football talent in the country is right here in the Bay Area and throughout the state of Florida, and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with the young men in the USF football program and build on the strong foundation already in place.”
— USF Football (@USFFootball) December 11, 2016
WWBA AM 820 and Sports Talk Florida is Flagship home of USF sports so look for us to air his first press conference live when it happens.
MUST READ; Taggart didn’t leave the cupboard bare.
It has been less than a week ago that Bulls Nation was rocked by the news that Taggart, who led the Bulls to a school record 10 wins with only 2 defeats, plus a trip to face South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl was leaving to be the head coach at Oregon. But within 24 hours of Taggart leaving, Harlan, was after Strong and was going to land what just be the best hire in school history.
How much talent will Strong have at USF?
He inherits a team that’s loaded with talent. The team’s two-deep roster features 21 underclassmen and 18 of the 22 starters are juniors or younger.
Strong, has a potential Heisman Trophy candidate in the American Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback, Quinton Flowers. He was the Bulls first ever quarterback pass for 2,000 yards and run forr1,000 in s ingle season. Also there is AAC First Team star running back Marlon Mack, the school’s all-time leading rusher.
Strong known for his defense has plenty of young talented kids to work with. So, he can win in year one considering the talent he has on this team. Then of course Strong will hit the recruiting trail to make sure he is stocked for years to come.
The 56-year old. Strong, has an impressive resume. He led Louisville to a 37-15 record from 2010-2013, which included two double-digit win seasons and a 2013 Sugar Bowl win over Florida. Prior to Louisville, Strong was a long-time assistant for the Gators, coaching a defense that won two national championships under his watch.
The two-time Big East Coach of the Year has served under Steve Spurrier, Lou Holtz and Urban Meyer.
Strong had back-to-back losing seasons as the head coach at Texas which got him fired in Austin. But many analysts felt that his firing was too soon and there is no doubt he left Texas in good shape for 2017.
He is considered one of the best recruiters in the country and his last two recruiting classes at Texas were ranked by both Rivals and 24/7 as Top 15 in the nation classes. He also spent 14 years recruiting in the state of Florida so he knows every high school coach in the state so he can hit the ground running soon.
Under Taggart, the Bulls won a program-record 10 games in 2016. He was officially introduced at Oregon on Thursday, signing a five-year deal worth $3.2 million annually.
Strong’s contract with USF will likely be in the $2-million range, offset by a portion of his $11 million buyout from Texas.