Charlie Strong’s Introduction To USF
On Thursday the University of South Florida formally welcomed Charlie Strong with open arms. Students, alumni and fans gathered in the Marshall Student Center’s ballroom to hear Strong be introduced to Bulls nation.
Strong touched a number of topics with a lot of emphasis on the tough recruiting battle that Florida now faces. With big names like Strong, Lane Kiffin, Butch Davis, Jimbo Fisher and more in the mix recruiting just got ten times harder. But that doesn’t seem to be a worry to Strong.
“We won’t back away, I know that. We will go get ’em,” he said in his introductory press conference.
In fact it seems that many people were worried about the USF commits with Willie Taggart’s departure.
“I have spoken with every recruit that we have committed to us right now. I was able to get their phone numbers and talk with our compliance,” said Strong. “So they’ve heard from me and it’s been great conversation. One thing about recruits, they see what’s happening within the program; they see a commitment we are making within the program so you engage that interest.”
With recruiting covered Strong expressed his vision for the South Florida Bulls. He noted he had been in discussion with USF president Judy Genshaft about an on campus stadium and that seemed to get the crowd really excited, just about as excited as Strong seemed to be about being here.
“I had this conversation with Willie and I knew that when he took the Oregon job there were many opportunities there and I said to him I said I want go be the head coach at South Florida because I know this, that is a program that a foundation has been laid, it’s a program that is only going to get better and it’s going to get better and it’s going to get better.”
Having a program with a laid foundation means there are a lot of goals for this team. Strong commented on the challenges this South Florida team may come to encounter.
“Usually when you have a peak year what really happens now is you see how good of a coach you are, can you duplicate your success? Can you go back next year and do the same thing?” Strong said. “That’s going to be the challenge for the team is because now can we bounce back and go do the same thing. Don’t rest on that ten win, we’re going to get number 11 and don’t rest on number 11 and we can make it so much better. You have to have that motivation and drive now to really go make it better than what it was.”
With Strong’s drive for continued success many Bulls fans were wondering what Strong’s long-term goals with USF are.
“Go take your job, go work and go make that the best job in the country. Why can’t that happen here? I sit back and I watch it from afar and you always say we’re in an unbelievable city, unbelievable facilities and so why can’t we go out year in and year out and compete for a championship and go be the best? We’re going to have to have the support of everyone, you’ve got to have the support of the community.”